Health bosses have been given the green light to arm GPs with more power to help them plan, buy and monitor services.
NHS Hardwick and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are among the first CCGs in the country to be given the go-ahead by NHS England to commission the majority of GP services from April.
Hardwick CCG – which is responsible for planning, buying and monitoring healthcare services for 100,000 patients – is one of the first CCGs to take on responsibility of overseeing greater delegated commissioning for GP services.
Dr Steve Lloyd, chairman at NHS Hardwick CCG, said: “This is a critical step in ensuring we can deliver more joined up, high quality care services to lift the health of the people of Hardwick.
“We have more influence over the wider NHS budget and we will use this mandate to develop urgent care services, improve the patient experience, address the balance of health inequalities and make greater use of the latest technology to improve GP access for patients.
“We’re working with practices to integrate community services and manage care more effectively.”
NHS Hardwick CCG joins 64 others in England which have been successful in providing evidence that they have a transparent and robust framework for commissioning GP services.
It is hoped that giving GP-led CCGs more influence over the wider NHS budget will enable a shift in investment to primary and community services.
Andy Gregory, chief officer at NHS Hardwick CCG, said: “We’re delighted to be among the first to receive a mandate to commission GP services.
“We can put in place commissioning arrangements to deliver a high level of joined up care, in and out of hospital,” he added.
The chairman of NHS North Derbyshire CCG Dr Ben Milton, who is also a GP at Darley Dale Medical Centre, has welcomed NHS England’s move to allow more control and input from GPs.
He said: “It’s wonderful that NHS England are backing us with full delegated powers to improve local primary care - it is a vote of confidence in the work we have done so far and the performance of clinical commissioning groups up and down the country.
“This is a critical step towards joining up the commissioning system, which in turn will support our five-year plan to provide new models of joined up care which are fit for the 21st century.”
Primary care and funding decisions of GP services will be governed by a separate committee.
NHS Hardwick CCG represents 16 GP practices acting on behalf of over 100,000 patients living in North Eastern Derbyshire including South Normanton, Creswell, Langwith, Pinxton, Clay Cross, Renishaw, Shirebrook, Tibshelf, Wingerworth, Alfreton, Bolsover, Grassmoor and North Wingfield.
GP practices are represented by GPs serving on the governing body, which also includes the chair of a practice managers group, a secondary care doctor and two lay members, local authority and public health representation, as well as management representatives.
NHS North Derbyshire CCG comprises of 38 member GP practices and acts on behalf of over 298,000 patients. The CCG covers five geographical localities, Chesterfield, Dronfield, High Peak, North East and North Dales.