What is clinical commissioning?
In order to shift decision-making as close as possible to patients, power and responsibility for commissioning services will be devolved to local groups for clinicians.
From April 2013 a national system of Clinical Commissioning Groups, supported by and accountable to a new NHS Commissioning Board, has taken over the responsibility for commissioning health services in England.
Your local GP practices will join other health professionals in a Clinical Commissioning Group, which will be responsible for “commissioning” – planning, designing and paying for your NHS services. This will include planned and emergency hospital care, rehabilitation, most community services and mental health and learning disability services.
GPs and other clinicians will also be responsible for engaging with local people to ensure that the services they are paying for meet your needs. A new national NHS Commissioning Board will oversee the performance of Clinical Commissioning Groups, as well as commissioning GP services, pharmacies, opticians and dentists, and other specialised services.
A new consumer body called HealthWatch England is the independent consumer champion for health and social care. Their job is to argue for the consumer interest of all those who use health and social care services. They will promote public engagement in the NHS, comment on changes to local services, act as advocates for complaints, and provide advice.