Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013.
CCGs are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. There are now 207 CCGs in England.
Commissioning is about getting the best possible health outcomes for the local population, by assessing local needs, deciding priorities and strategies, and then buying services on behalf of the population from providers such as hospitals, clinics, community health bodies, etc. It is an ongoing process, and CCGs must constantly respond and adapt to changing local circumstances. CCGs are responsible for the health of their entire population, and are measured by how much they improve outcomes.
- Membership bodies, with local GP practices as the members;
- Led by an elected Governing Body made up of GPs, other clinicians including a nurse and a secondary care consultant, and lay members;
- Responsible for approximately 2/3 of of the total NHS England budget; or £73.6 billion in 2017/18;
- Responsible for healthcare commissioning such as mental health services, urgent and emergency care, elective hospital services, and community care;
- Independent, and accountable to the Secretary of State for Health through NHS England;
- Responsible for the health of populations ranging from under 100,000 to 900,000, although the average population covered by a CCG is about a quarter of a million people.