Welcome to this website about Clinical Commissioning Groups.
What are Clinical Commissioning Groups?
Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of GPs that will, from April 2013, be responsible for designing local health services In England. They will do this be commissioning or buying health and care services including:
Elective hospital care
Urgent and emergency care
Most community health services
Mental health and learning disability services
Clinical Commissioning Groups will work with patients and healthcare professionals and in partnership with local communities and local authorities. On their governing body, Groups will have, in addition to GPs, a least one registered nurse and a doctor who is a secondary care specialist. Groups will have boundaries that will not normally cross those of local authorities. Clinical Commissioning Groups will be responsible for arranging emergency and urgent care services withing their boundaries, and for commissioning services for any unregistered patients who live in their area. All GP practices will have to belong to a Clinical Commissioining Group.
The announcement that GPs will take over this commissioning role was made in the 2010 White Paper, ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’. This is part of the Governments’ wider desire to create a clinically-driven commissioning system that is more sensitive to the needs of patients.
Providers of health care, whose services are currently commissioned by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) will compete to work with GP commissioners in the future. In preparation for this transfer of responsibility, a number of GP Pathfinders have been set up as the first Clinical Commissioning Groups. These pathfinders will operate in shadow form alongside the PCTs. In March 2011, 177 pathfinder Clinical Commissioing Groups (formerly known as GP consortia) had already been formed, covering two thirds of the country.
Who will oversee the Clinical Commissioning Groups?
The Clinical Commissioning Groups will be overseen by the newly formed independent NHS Commissioning Board which will make sure that Clinical Commissioning Groups have the capacity and capability to commission services successfully and to meet their financial responsibilities. The NHS Commissioning Board will exist in shadow form from June 2011 and will be fully operational from April 2012. Its senior structures should contain a range of healthcare professionals, and it will have a Medical Director and a Chief Nursing Officer on its board.
The NHS Commissioning Board will also be responsible for directly commissioning:
Specialist services (specialised services that are required by a limited number of people)
At a local level, new Health and Wellbeing Boards will be set up in local authorities to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups are meeting the needs of local people. The membership of these boards will include representatives from:
Clinical Commissioning Groups
Directors of public health
Adult Social Services
Healthwatch (representing the views of patients, carers and local communities)
These boards will be in place in shadow form April 2012.