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Over half of CCGs could commission general practice next year

More than half of CCGs could take on delegated responsibility for commissioning  general practice in 2015/16, after commissioning leaders reported a surge of interest.

Speaking in front of the House of Commons Health Committee this week, co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners Dr Steve Kell told MPs the growth of co-commissioning was already making a difference, and if applications were approved by NHS England the majority of CCGs could be managing primary care.

CCGs can opt for three levels of co-commissioning – either working more closely with NHS England, forming joint commissioning committees or taking on delegated powers for functions including contracts, enhanced services and premises.

Dr Kell said: ‘We’ve already had a significant number of CCGs in co-commissioning, a significant amount of difference being made. We’ve got a huge level of interest for 2016/17. A significant increase, so over 50% of CCGs will have delegated commissioning if they’re approved.’

He explained to MPs that co-commissioning was helping to reduce the fragmentation of NHS services, saying: ‘We saw the opportunity to link up some of those pathways. It didn’t make sense that we were commissioning nursing homes without being able to commission general practice which provides so much support for those patients.’