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What are Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)?

Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of General Practices that work together to plan and design local health services in England. They do this by 'commissioning' or buying health and care services including:

  • Planned hospital care
  • Urgent and emergency care
  • Rehabilitation care
  • Community health services
  • Mental health and learning disability services

Clinical Commissioning Groups work with patients and health and social care partners (e.g. local hospitals, local authorities, local community groups etc) to ensure services meet local needs. CCG boards are made up of GPs from the local area and at least one registered nurse and one secondary care specialist doctor.

Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for arranging emergency and urgent care services within their boundaries, and for commissioning services for any unregistered patients who live in their area. All General Practices belong to a Clinical Commissioning Group.

Who are Clinical Commissioning Groups accountable to?

Clinical Commissioning Groups are overseen by NHS England at a national level. NHS England is a new body that ensures that Clinical Commissioning groups have the capacity and capability to successfully commission services for their local population. NHS England will also ensure that the Clinical Commissioning Groups meet their financial responsibilities.

As well as overseeing Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS England commissions some services itself. These are:

  • General Practice
  • Pharmacy
  • Dentists
  • Specialist services (i.e. those required by a limited number of people)

At a local level, new Health and Wellbeing Boards have been set up in Local Authorities to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups meet the needs of local people. Health and Wellbeing Boards will bring together clinical commissioning groups and the local councils to understand the health, social and wellbeing needs of its community.

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