Local health professionals to get more power to improve NHS primary care

Stevens announces new option for local Clinical Commissioning Groups to co-commission primary care in partnership with NHS England.

England’s 211 clinically-led local Clinical Commissioning Groups will get new powers to improve local health services under a new commissioning initiative  announced today by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.

Speaking to GPs and other NHS health professionals at the Annual Conference of NHS Clinical Commissioners in London, Simon Stevens said:

“England has now taken the bold step – unique in the western world – of putting two thirds of its health service funding under the control of local family doctors and clinicians.

“If we want to better integrate care outside hospitals, and properly resource primary, community and mental health services – at a time when overall funding is inevitably constrained – we need to make it easier for patients, local communities and local clinicians to exercise more clout over how services are developed.

“That means giving local CCGs greater influence over the way NHS funding is being invested for their local populations. As well as new models for primary care, we will be taking a hard look at how CCGs can have more impact on NHS England’s specialised commissioning activities.

“So today I am inviting those CCGs that are interested in an expanded role in primary care to come forward and show how new powers would enable them to drive up the quality of care, cut health inequalities in primary care, and help put their local NHS on a sustainable path for the next five years and beyond.

“CCGs are still young organisations at different stages of development, and with different local needs.  So rather than specifying a one-size-fits all solution, and having listened carefully to what CCGs have been saying, I’m keen to hear from CCGs themselves about what next steps they would like to explore.”

Mr Stevens announced that NHS England will be writing next week to all CCGs in England with details of how to submit expressions of interest in taking on enhanced powers and responsibilities to co-commission primary care.

Applications will need to describe the additional powers and responsibilities the CCG would like to assume. They will need to meet a number of tests, including showing they will help advance care integration, raise standards and cut health inequalities in primary care.

They will also need to show how they will ensure transparent and fair governance -with a continuing oversight role for NHS England to safeguard against conflicts of interest – all in the context of the CCG’s five-year plan for its local NHS services.

NHS England will work with the NHS Commissioning Assembly, NHS Clinical Commissioners and other stakeholders to advance this agenda.

CCG expressions of interest should be developed by June 20, the same date that CCGs will complete their initial five-year ‘Forward Views’ for  local NHS services.

Each proposal will be discussed by the applicant CCG and the local Area Team of NHS England, which will subsequently make a recommendation for approval by the Board of NHS England.


  1. Dr.Lutfe Kamal says:

    Primary care need capacity building. It’s only then primary care will be able to deliver.
    we need meaningful dialogue between clinicians to progress this very desirable empowerment of primary care. Self perpetuating ccg’s where only the most mundane is discussed at networking level will achieve little. We need to involve all interested clinicians,all components of mental health and social workers to work and progress forward and participate in all major decision making including secondary care solutions.
    I would like to see large practices be pro active in supporting smaller practices in providing all basic investigations , suitable secondary care out patients
    In the community and take responsibility for treating and caring for majority of medical and social care issues.
    Fortunately there are good examples of these development up and down nhs Ccg areas.
    We must have the courage to emulate these good examples and invest where necessary. Hospital’s will then be free to give the most urgent and complex care . Strengthening health and well being boards is an urgent and compelling

  2. Pearl Baker says:

    I am deeply concerned with the proposal to give more money to the CCG to commission services in particular Mental Health, their grasp of an Integrated System of care is non existence. I fear their poor knowledge of the number of agencies, will leed to insufficient resources given to this much disadvantaged group.

    Agencies involved in an Integrated system of care;

    Housing Associations
    Housing Benefit
    Social Workers.
    Personal Budgets
    ‘Care Manager Co-Ordinator’ key worker
    Support Workers

    To achieve any improvements, or success of an integrated system of care, there has to be an understanding of who is involved and the part they play for each individual patient.

    The ‘Care Manager Co-Ordinator hold the ‘key’. They need to be highly skilled, and have an understanding on how the above agencies integrate with their patient.

    The public at large have no understanding of the system, and certainly not able to imfluence the ‘Powers that be’. I was one of two people who attended an open board meeting of a CCG. The members of the Public are not allowed to put forward questions to the board unless it is sent before hand, and can only ask questions that relate to the agenda. ‘Hardly influencing’

    I would like to see any other business at the end of the meeting, as other organisations.

    They appear to be controlling the meeting, and not allowing Public debate on issues they have failed to address.