What is a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)?
Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of GPs that are responsible for designing local health services in England. CCGs replaced Primary Care Trusts, which ceased to exist on 31 March 2012.
They do this by commissioning or buying health and care services including:
- Planned hospital care
- Rehabilitation care
- Urgent and emergency care
- Community health services
- Mental health and learning disability services
- Maternity services
Clinical Commissioning Groups work with patients and healthcare professionals in partnership with local communities and local authorities.
All CCGs had to go through an authorisation process through the NHS Commissioning Board.
All GP practices are required to be members of a CCG under the 2012 Act. The aim of this is to give GPs and other clinicians the power to influence commissioning decisions for their patients.
What is commissioning?
Commissioning is the term used in the public sector for planning and buying services. It is a structured way of deciding how public money should be spent.
In the case of the NHS, commissioning relates to providing health services. Commissioning healthcare and health services is the process of examining:
- The healthcare needs of the area
- The way in which healthcare services are delivered
- Ways in which healthcare resources can best be used.
By using this information the different health and support needs of people can be identified and a wide range of services can be funded (commissioned) to meet those needs.
If GPs are busy commissioning, does this mean they will lose touch with their patients?
Commissioning decisions can run alongside caring for patients. The CCG is supported by management experts within the NHS. By investing time in commissioning, GPs are placing patients at the heart of commissioning decisions.
Consistent engagement from our patients and GPs is key to commissioning. This is why we are really keen to hear the views of everyone when planning services for the future.
Who oversees the CCG?
CCGs are overseen and work closely with the area team of NHS England. The CCG is also part of Worcestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, run by Worcestershire County Council, where different organisations come together to agree the strategy and priorities for health and social care services in the area.
How do local hospitals, like the Worcestershire Royal, fit in to all of this?
NHS South Worcestershire CCG pays for any services hospitals carry out. We work very closely with the local hospitals and where necessary help re-design services to improve the way they are delivered to patients.
Does the CCG engage with patients?
Yes - patients have a crucial role in planning and designing services. We will include and involve patients and keep them informed of any proposed changes to local services so that they can have a say. We are actively working to engage with patients, patient support groups and community and voluntary organisations to ensure we can capture the views of a wide range of local people. Find out more on the Get Involved section of our website.
What should I do if I am unhappy with a healthcare service I have received?
Your feedback, good or bad, is an essential part of making sure everyone can get the best healthcare service possible. Please feedback to the organisation which provided the service. If you are not happy with the service that has been commissioned by the CCG, please contact us to let us know.