Clinical commissioning groups are succeeding

A speech given by Andy Burnham in Birmingham earlier this week referred to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) stating they were not the power houses that had been promised. NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent and collective voice for CCGs responded to the comment referring to their publication, ‘Taking the Lead‘ which was launched in January. This clearly evidenced how CCGs are changing the face of the NHS. Examples included a suite of CCG success stories and described how a number of CCGs from across the country were unleashing the power of clinical leaders, working with local government, the voluntary sector and others to improve services and change lives.

Examples of successes included a very wide variety of improvements to local services. Initiatives included

  • Bassetlaw CCG, Seven Day Consultant Care – demonstrating real and fundamental change.
  • Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group – joined up health and social care services.
  • Central Norwich and Norfolk CCGs – a programme driven by the transformation of urgent care, helping divert patients away from A&Es.
  • North Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent CCG – avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.

In all there were 15 real examples showcased in the publication and each showed that at an early stage local clinical commissioning was beginning to have a very big and positive impact on patients’ lives.

Dr Steve Kell, Co-Chair of the NHSCC Leadership Group said; “Since the publication of ‘Taking the Lead’ so many more CCGs have come forward and today we have examples of at least 50 new initiatives that are benefiting local communities all around the country. This is thanks to, clinical commissioning working locally and collaboratively. We know the health service needs to change. However, what we don’t hear enough about is when things go well and the fact that the NHS is doing a lot of things extremely well.

Dr Amanda Doyle, also Co-Chair of the NHSCC Leadership Group added, “Clinical commissioners are working hard to improve local services by making clinically led decisions in partnership with GPs, patients, and providers. We are already seeing significant progress in transparency, clinical outcomes and patient empowerment. Clinical Commissioning Groups working collaboratively and locally have already proved themselves to be the way forward, we just need to afford them some space to succeed.”

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