How we fit into the NHS

From April 1, 2013 there have been significant changes to the structure of the NHS. The organisations which commission, which involves planning and buying local health services, have changed across the country.

There are now a number of organisations which have specific roles within the NHS.

Clinical Commissioning Groups

A clinical commissioning group is a new NHS organisation that brings together local GPs and experienced healthcare professionals to commission health services for local people.

As commissioners of local health services, a CCG is responsible for:

  • Planning the right services to meet the needs of local people
  • Buying local health services, including community and hospital services
  • Checking that the services are delivering the best possible care and treatment for those that need them.

NHS England

This is a new, national organisation which has an ‘area team’ covering the Wessex region, including our CCG. Their role is to deliver the Department of Health’s ambitions for the NHS by working with commissioners and providers of services across the country. They also directly commission:

  • GP practices (in some areas)
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Optometrists
  • Specialised services such as HIV care or hearth transplants.

Local Authorities

Under the changes, Hampshire County Council has become responsible for commissioning public health services. These are services that help you live healthy lives and help prevent ill health. Examples of these include:

  • Stop smoking services
  • Weight management services
  • Sexual health services
  • Drug and alcohol support services.

Public Health England

This is a national body that works closely with local authorities’ public health teams to carry out a range of activities to protect and improve the health of everyone living in the country. Their work includes:

  • Co-ordinating work to combat infectious diseases such as flu
  • Co-ordinating work to combat infections acquired in hospitals such as MRSA
  • Delivering national publicly campaigns to prevent ill health.