CCGs have already started to improve services in their areas and to make a difference to patient care, according to a new report.
NHS Clinical Commissioners, a new coalition formed by the NHS Alliance, National Association of Primary Care and NHS Confederation, published the document Clinical Commissioning in Action which includes 12 case studies detailing how CCGs across the country have tackled a range of issues in their areas, from end-of-life care to referrals.
Examples of pioneering CCGs include Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG, which has redesigned care pathways to reduce A&E use among patients with long-term conditions, South Devon and Torbay CCG, which has looked at urology care and moved PSA tests to the community, and the Kettering locality of Nene CCG, where GPs have trained practice nurses to treat minor injuries and to order X-rays without involving a doctor.
Dr Charles Alessi, interim chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners and chair of the NAPC, said: ‘Patients should be at the heart of the new NHS and clinical engagement is crucial to ensure that we work together – with our patients, community, local partners – to deliver health care that meets the needs of our population. Many CCGs are already doing that and, apart from learning and sharing their experiences, we also need to celebrate the successes, however small, as these will encourage and inspire others to achieve more for their patients.' Dr Michael Dixon, interim president of NHS Clinical Commissioners and chair of the NHS Alliance, added: ‘CCGs have started a very exciting journey; many of them already have good stories to tell about the positive impact clinical engagement is having on the ground, particularly improvements to patient care and experience. By bringing these case studies together, we want to encourage CCGs to share their learning and experience.'