How to engage with CCGs and healthcare commissioners

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were created by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, they are comprised of GP practices, usually covering a close geographical area.In April 2013, they replaced primary care trusts as the commissioners of most services funded by the NHS in England. They now control around two-thirds of the NHS budget and have a legal duty to support quality improvement in general practice. Services commissioned by CCGs include hospital care, community health services, rehabiltation and mental health services. The scope of their duties also includes actions to improve services and reduce inequalities, as well as provide patient choice and develop integration within the NHS.

Research CCGs

In order to engage with CCGs, it’s important to know what they do and how they operate. Every group is different and the better you understand your target group, the more effective your engagement will be. Find out about the senior members of the executive team and the member GP surgeries and familiarise yourself with their commissioning plans and intentions. This data can be found on their website, along with agendas and meeting minutes. With this in hand, you will be able to see their goals and where your services could fit inside.

Make your case with CCGs

When you contact CCGs with a propos a, it needs to establish several points. You need to demonstrate significant savings in clear understandable units (eg. Pounds sterling, staff time by grade) your innovation in layman’s terms and the value it offers, including benefits to patients, carers and staff. Demonstrating an understanding of national and regional targets and objectives is highly recommended.

Reducing barriers

One of the most significant issues faced when we engage with CCGs and healthcare commissioners, is managing the barriers, which intrinsically prevent this. These include needing to engage with several CCGs, a lack of clarity regarding responsibilities, the preference for larger organisations with more robust infrastructures and disproportionate contracting requirements.

CCGs within the wider healthcare environment

CCGs play a key role in England’s 44 STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships). STPs are designed around the needs of whole areas, not just individual organisations. They have been constituted from different parts of the local health and care system, following discussion with staff, patients and others in the communities they serve. STPs are responsible for writing regional Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

CCG representation is also significant in Health and Wellbeing Boards, responsible for writing Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs), which outline the health, social and societal needs of an area and underpin regional decision making.

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