A partner in our clients’ future

North West Commissioning Support Unit (NWCSU) aims to be a trusted and valued partner, working alongside our clients to enable excellence in the commissioning and delivery of healthcare services.

We provide the support, expertise and essential services to enable clients to deliver the best possible healthcare outcomes for the populations they serve. Our clients include clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, healthcare providers and a host of other public and voluntary sector bodies, primarily across the North West, but also nationally.

Working from strategic locations across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, our team delivers one of the largest portfolios of support services in the country, working closely with the region’s 24 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), serving a population of 5.2 million with a combined budget of £6.6bn.

Working in collaboration with our clients we offer an integrated and innovative multidisciplinary approach to deliver real results. Our talented and professional team draws on skills, experience and capabilities from across the NHS, augmented with new insights and ideas from carefully selected and skilled private sector partners.

This blend gives us a unique understanding and ability to navigate the constraints and challenges facing our clients and the wider health economy, both now and into the future.

NWCSU has a strong belief in improvement through innovation and best practice. This is embedded within all the services we deliver.

Motivated by the desire to help clients to transform their local healthcare economies and deliver tangible benefits for patients and their communities, we see ourselves as an expert and trusted partner, with shared values and common goals.

NWCSU was created in October 2014, through the coming together of the commissioning support units in Greater Manchester and Cheshire and Merseyside. The purpose of creating the new organisation was to take the strengths and learning from each CSU, to create an organisation that provides high-quality services designed around the needs of our clients.

Our Team

At NWCSU, we believe that our strength lies in the people who work for us, and we aim to ensure development and opportunity, and make sure this is a great place to work. For our latest vacancies, click here.

NWCSU is led by a team of directors, providing a wide range of experience, knowledge and leadership from the public and private sectors, and a particular background in healthcare. To contact any of our directors, fill in our contact form and select General Enquiries.

Leigh Griffin, Acting Managing Director

Prior to the creation of NWCSU, Leigh led Greater Manchester CSU from October 2012, and previously worked as a PCT Chief Executive in the North West and the West Midlands. A passionate advocate of collaborative commissioning and system-wide improvement, he is committed to the need to co-design and deliver services tailored to local needs.

Alison Hewitt, Acting Finance Director

Alison joined NWCSU from Chorley and South Ribble CCG and Greater Preston CCG, where she was Head of Health Economics. Alison brings with her a wealth of experience that she gained from senior finance roles at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, the North West Development Agency and as a consultant at KPMG.

Debbie Bywater, Director

Debbie has more than 24 years’ experience of working within the public sector, and has previously worked in a senior management capacity at a regional and national level within the NHS for the last nine years. Debbie's most recent position was Director for Client Services (North) for Cheshire and Merseyside CSU.

Michelle Chadwick, Director

Michelle was formally appointed to Cheshire and Merseyside CSU as Director of Human Resources, Organisational Development and Communication in July 2012. Prior to this she held the post of Cluster Executive Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development for NHS Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral PCT Cluster.

Cathy Gritzner, Director

Cathy has extensive experience in both the private and public sector having worked for ATOS and KPMG in England and the Middle East. Cathy previously worked as Commercial Director for Greater Manchester CSU and Chief Officer at Herefordshire CCG. Prior to this she was Director of Commissioning at NHS Wirral before helping to establish Cheshire, Wirral and Warrington CSU.

Stuart Lea, Director of IT

Stuart joined the NHS in 1995, working for Cheshire Community Healthcare Trust as an IT Technician and Developer. Since then, he has fulfilled a very broad range of roles within the NHS IT arena, including project management, application development, service development and a range of management and leadership positions.

Seamus McGirr, Clinical Director

Seamus is a registered nurse, whose previous roles include Director of Nursing and Director of Performance. His specialty expertise and academic interest is in urgent care, and he leads the North West Utilisation Management team which provides services for, and on behalf of, NHS England (IMAS), CCGs and Trusts across England and in Northern Ireland.

Geraldine Murphy-Walkden, Director

A highly motivated, experienced manager and leader, Geraldine has more than 20 years NHS experience, spanning primary care, secondary care and the private sector. She also has more than four years NHS experience of working at director level. Geraldine's most recent position was with Cheshire and Merseyside CSU as Director of Client Services (South).

Jo Purcell, Director

Jo has a background in commissioning, partnership working and service redesign. Jo has been a director for over 10 years with commissioning organisations and has been responsible for developing partnerships across the health and social care system, commissioning new service models and, more recently, supporting the development of commissioning support across Greater Manchester.

Neil Ryder, Director

Neil has worked as an Executive and Board level Director for over 12 years, in addition to holding a range of senior positions in many areas of healthcare including Acute Sector Teaching Hospitals, Health Authority and Primary Care. His previous role was Chief Operating Officer at Cheshire and Merseyside CSU.

Our Partners

In order to maximise our reach locally, regionally and nationally, NWCSU is always seeking to establish partnerships with appropriate organisations in all sectors. Opportunities range from individual, short-term, projects of mutual benefit, to ongoing corporate partnering.

Our Clients

North West Commissioning Support Unit (NWCSU) works in partnership with healthcare commissioners, healthcare providers, local authorities and others, to enable excellence in the commissioning and delivery of healthcare services.

Our Case Studies

Effective consultation on proposals for new specialist cancer services

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Developing and delivering robust resilience training for CCGs

Stockport, Tameside and Glossop, and Trafford CCGs

Celebrating Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale's stars

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG

Improving resilience in Wigan

Wigan Borough CCG

Improving care quality

Three Greater Manchester CCGs

Addressing the ‘paperless NHS’ challenge

12 CCGs and 14 hospital trusts in Greater Manchester

Transforming data storage

12 CCGs in Greater Manchester

Electronic Prescription Service

12 CCGs in Greater Manchester

Information governance: Accredited Safe Havens

Bolton, Salford, and North, South and Central Manchester CCGs

Our Community

The extra mile reflects the work that NWCSU does over and above our core service delivery to give something back to our local communities and ensure that we are a great place for people to work. To do this, we have split our corporate social responsibility into three areas – our people, our communities and our society.

Our people

In order to enhance the working lives of our colleagues, there are a number of things we do. Through a variety of simple but important initiatives – from providing social opportunities to ensuring that working environments are comfortable and well-equipped – NWCSU aims to look after our most valuable asset – our people.

Our society

As an organisation, we know that we have a responsibility to consider our impact on wider society and the environment. To do this, we intend to investigate a wide range of plans to reduce and mitigate our carbon footprint. This process has already begun with the promotion of a greener travel plan. This places an emphasis on using public transport where possible, but we have also entered into a partnership with Liftshare to encourage colleagues to travel to work and meetings across the region together.

Our communities

We have made a specific commitment to support three local charities:

Francis House Children's Hospice

Francis House Children’s Hospice provides care for children and young adults with life-threatening conditions, as well as providing support for their families. Francis House is open to all families who have children diagnosed as having a life-threatening or life-limiting condition, and are under sixteen years of age on referral. Care is given free of charge and regardless of faith or cultural background. For more information, visit www.francishouse.org.uk.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support for people with cancer and pushes for better cancer care in and around Manchester, as well as nationally.

Mustard Tree

Mustard Tree is a charity committed to providing life support for the homeless, marginalised and vulnerable across Greater Manchester. It provides food, clothing, furniture and training, aiming not only to improve life for deprived communities in Greater Manchester, but also work to care for the environment through continual re-use and recycling of resources for the benefit of those in need.