What are Clinical Commissioning Groups?

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1 April 2013. They 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. This involves 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. CCGs must constantly respond and adapt to changing local circumstances. They are responsible for the health of their entire population, and measured by how much they improve outcomes.

CCGs are:

  • 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 commissioning healthcare including 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 their average population is about a quarter of a million people.

The commissioning system is continually evolving. Our publication The future of commissioning sets out our vision for the future of clinical commissioning, based on what we are hearing from our members.

Clinical refers to a GP practice membership led organisation. Our board at the CCG has GP, Hospital, Dr and Nursing representation as a majority of voting membership.

Commissioning health services means:

  • Making sure health services across west Essex are high quality;
  • Working with the local community to plan and improve services;
  • Having a good working relationship with the people who deliver your care and other organisations responsible for local services - such as our providers
  • Making most effective use of the money we have been given.

We need your help to commission high quality services

We are committed to getting your feedback on whether the services you use are meeting your needs. If you would like to find out more how you can give us your views and/or get involved please go to the Get Involved section of this site.

Our vision for NHS in west Essex

Our aim is simple - we want to work with the hospitals, community teams and GPs who provide care locally to make sure that the people of Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford receive the best care possible and live longer, healthier, happy lives. We will work to make sure that all residents across west Essex receive high quality, safe and accessible health services and that, over time, we narrow the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest people.