Commissioning Primary Care


Primary care is at the heart of the vision for a 21st century NHS. It has a critical role in the delivery of a high-quality, financially sustainable health service. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) brought a number of changes to the way primary care is commissioned, with NHS England managing the contractual elements and local clinical commissioners having a duty to improve the quality of services.

Our members told us that the reforms to primary care commissioning were not supporting more transformational ambitions at a local level and that clinical commissioners must be enabled to jointly commission services across whole pathways with NHS England. In late 2013, we held a roundtable meeting with members, our leadership group and national stakeholders, to explore the challenges and identify practical solutions. This briefing outlines the key messages from the discussion, alongside case studies where clinical commissioners are already making a difference.

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