NHS England has approved the first set of GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that will take on responsibility for commissioning the majority of GP services from April this year.
*64 CCGs across the country have been approved to take on greater ‘delegated’ commissioning responsibility for GP services with the possibility that others may follow. This follows plans set out by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, early last year, to give patients, communities and clinicians more scope in deciding how local services are developed.
Dr Amanda Doyle, Primary Care Co-Commissioning Programme Oversight Group Co-Chair and Chief Clinical Officer for NHS Blackpool CCG said: “This is a journey to enable local commissioning arrangements that can deliver the kind of integrated care, in and out of hospital that we all want to see.
“Giving GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups more influence over the wider NHS budget, will enable a shift in investment from acute to primary and community services and to enable money to follow the patient. The introduction of co-commissioning is another strong step on the path to provide a more joined up, high quality service for the future.”
Ian Dodge, National Director for Commissioning Strategy at NHS England, said: “Today we are backing 64 CCGs who have asked NHS England for full delegated powers to improve local primary care, within a transparent and robust framework for managing conflicts of interest. It is a vote of confidence in CCGs. It is part of our commitment to deliver a new deal for primary care. And it’s a critical step towards joining up the commissioning system, which in turn will help unlock new models of integrated care described in the NHS Five Year Forward View.”
Taking on ‘delegated’ responsibility from NHS England means CCGs will commission general medical services.
Delegated responsibility is one of three models offered to CCGs along with joint commissioning with NHS England and greater involvement in commissioning. Decisions on which CCGs will be approved for joint commissioning will be made in the coming weeks.
For CCGs that haven’t been approved at this stage, NHS England will continue to provide support to help them achieve the commissioning model that works best for them.
The latest move follows the plan set out in the Next steps towards primary care co-commissioning document developed by the joint CCG and NHS England primary care co-commissioning programme oversight group in partnership with NHS Clinical Commissioners, and is another step towards delivering the wider strategic agenda set out in the Five Year Forward View.
64 CCGs have been given full approval on their applications for delegation (see full list here). One CCG is approved pending changes to some governance arrangements.