About primary care co-commissioning

Primary care co-commissioning is one of a series of changes set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View. It gives Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) an opportunity to take on greater responsibility for general practice commissioning. It was introduced to support the development of integrated out-of-hospital services, based around the needs of local people.

Co-commissioning is part of a wider strategy to join up care and could lead to a number of benefits for patients and the public including:

  • Improved access to primary care and wider out-of-hospital services, with more services available closer to home
  • High quality out-of-hospital care
  • Improved health outcomes and reduced health inequalities
  • A better patient experience through more joined up services

In 2014/15, NHS England invited CCGs to take on greater responsibility for general practice commissioning through one of three models:

  1. Greater involvement – an invitation to CCGs to work more closely with their local NHS England teams in decisions about primary care services
  2. Joint commissioning – enables one or more CCGs to jointly commission general practice services with NHS England through a joint committee
  3. Delegated commissioning –an opportunity for CCGs to take on full responsibility for the commissioning of general practice services

As of 1 April 2020, 132 CCGs have delegated commissioning arrangements for primary medical services. In addition, 1 CCG has a joint commissioning arrangement with NHS England and 2 are operating under the greater involvement model – view the list of CCGs.

We are increasingly learning that delegated commissioning is delivering the most benefits for local populations. As a result, we are encouraging all CCGs to take on delegated commissioning responsibility for primary medical services in the future.