The care that we receive at our GP practice is at the heart of the NHS.
90 per cent of contacts with the NHS are with primary care services, which include your GP practice, dentist, optician and local pharmacist.
Therefore, as a CCG we want to make sure that our local GP practices – the 50 practices we have in Coastal West Sussex – are right at the centre of our plans for future health services and how we work to improve local health care for patients.
Tomorrow the CCG takes a big step forward to achieving this as we take on responsibility for commissioning the services provided at our GP practices; that means planning, buying and monitoring these services.
This is known as ‘co-commissioning’ and from April 1 the CCG becomes fully responsible for primary care (GP services) commissioning.
We will continue to work with NHS England who will still formally hold the GP contracts, but the CCG will we will be planning how GP practices provide the care they are contracted to offer, we will work with local GPs to design new local services, and we will make decisions on new practices, mergers and changes to their buildings.
This is a change as for the last three years CCGs have only been responsible for the care and treatment that patients may need in hospital and in the community, and not at your GP practice.
But we see this as a really positive change as we want to be able to plan services that meet the needs of our whole population, not just those that are provided in the community and in hospital, but also in our local GP practices.
We have a strategy to improve general practice and community care, and make sure that it can continue to provide the high quality care patients need for years to come.
We will also invest in primary care, and plan services, based on what care is most needed by local patients, across the whole NHS.
To take on this new responsibility we will need to work differently and we have set up a Primary Care Commissioning Committee that reports into our Clinical Commissioning Executive and our Governing Body: Assurance.
The Primary Care Commissioning Committee will meet in public quarterly throughout the year and will be the forum for key decisions about projects and plans relating to GP practices.
It is made up predominately of lay members and independent clinical members of our Governing Body to minimise any conflict of interest, and more information is available on our website: www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk
Taking on ‘co-commissioning’ will mean we can design new ways of looking after people and make sure you get the best possible care, closer to where you live and work, putting the needs of local people right at the centre of local health services.
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