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The argument for co-commissioning

We see co-commissioning of general practice as offering us the opportunity to deliver a coherent strategy for out-of-hospital care for our population.

At the moment, what we are seeing is separate commissioners with responsibility for different aspects of care: local authorities for social care, CCGs for community care and NHS England for primary care, and what we need to do is pull all of these things together to deliver a coherent strategy so that we can reduce our reliance on secondary care.

We see our ability to have delegated budgets for primary care as an enabler for us to do this.

A big part of that is the strategy for estates out of hospital. At the moment, it is very difficult for CCGs to have any influence at all on premises for primary care and the strategic use of estates to support out-of-hospital care.

But we hope that by requesting delegated responsibility for premises, including reimbursement and premises strategy, we will be able to deliver our plans better.

What we are trying to do is benefit patients.

What we have said is that, collectively, CCGs might like to have some influence in how the contract looks, so that it fits with the strategies that we’re all developing, but what we don’t want is to take away negotiation of the core national contract.

Dr Amanda Doyle is a GP in Blackpool, NHS Clinical Commissioners leadership group co-chair and chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG.