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PC Background

In May 2014, NHS England invited Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to come forward to take on an increased role in the commissioning of primary care services. The intention was to empower and enable CCGs to improve primary care services locally.

“Co-commissioning is a key enabler in developing seamless, integrated out-of-hospital services based around the needs of local populations. It will also drive the development of new models of care such as multispecialty community providers and primary and acute systems”. Five Year Forward View

On 19 February NHS England announced that NHS South Worcestershire Clinical Commission Group (CCG) was among the first wave of CCG’s in the country to be given the go-ahead to takeover planning and arranging local GP services. CCGs were given the opportunity last year to opt for one of three options for differing levels of co-commissioning: ‘Delegated Commissioning’, ‘Joint Commissioning’ or ‘Greater Involvement’. SWCCG applied for and were granted full delegation and will take over the budget and agreeing contracts with local GP Practices.

Co-commissioning is the way we will implement the Five Year Forward View, delivering the change necessary to support sustainable, innovative and high quality primary care, which is at the centre of better and more integrated out of hospital care built around the needs of our local population. The approach taken must reflect and support the shift towards a new provider landscape reflecting the urgent need for change and represent a better offer for general practice.

It is vital that this opportunity is not squandered and that the possibilities, which this responsibility brings, are aligned to national and local priorities underpinned by the CCG’s 2015/16 commissioning intentions. These will be reviewed, refreshed and published each year.

The CCG has established a Primary Care Commissioning Committee and Primary Care Clinical Advisory Group to oversee governance and make decisions on the commissioning and contracting of services from general practices. The constitution of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee with a majority of lay members and only one GP will ensure that any conflicts of interests are minimised. NHS England will continue to monitor the CCG in how it delivers this and its other responsibilities.