The CCG has now taken on responsibility for commissioning (planning, managing and buying) local GP practice services. Involving CCGs more in the commissioning of general practice provides an opportunity for offering better, more joined-up care for patients and local populations.
Under this arrangement, the CCG has taken on some roles that used to be done by NHS England:
- the management of General Practice contracts – including monitoring the performance of local GP practices and taking actions such as issuing improvement notices and removing a contract
- approval of practice mergers or changes to individual GP practice boundaries
- making decisions on payments and schemes that affect local GPs
- making decisions on issues related to GP practice premises
As part of these responsibilities, the CCG has established its fully functioning Primary Care Operation Group (PCOG). This committee is a subcommittee of the Governing Body, and is now handling day-to-day primary care contracting issues, with ongoing support from NHS England.
A suite of local policies and processes is being developed to embed routine Primary Care contracting as business as usual for the CCG.
The co-commissioning of primary medical services (services provided by GP practices) is one of a series of changes set out in the national NHS Five Year Forward View.
NHS England is still responsible for:
- Management of the national performers list (a list that records the training and qualifications of NHS staff in order to make sure they are suitably qualified, have up to date training and have passed other relevant checks)
- Section 7a (Public Health) functions - for example, national screening and immunisation programmes
- Capital expenditure functions - e.g. the allocation of funds for premises improvements
- Administration of payments to a GP in circumstances where the GP is suspended
- Management of the revalidation and appraisal process for GPs
- Various functions in relation to the management of complaints regarding GP services
- National policy decisions relating to the provision of GP services’