reforms see Somersets GPs take control of local health budgets
doctors and clinicians in Burnham-On-Sea have this week taken
on responsibility for the planning and funding of local health
The change is part of a series of far-reaching NHS reforms taking
place across the country from April 1st since the passing of the
governments Health and Social Care Act in 2012.
Primary Care Trusts have been abolished and new Clinical Commissioning
Groups (CCGs) have been established.
Somerset's new Clinical Commissioning Group takes on the statutory
responsibility for the commissioning health services to some 535,000
Somerset residents and will control an annual budget of over £650
Commissioning involves planning and buying health services by
assessing the needs of the population; engaging with local patients
and clinicians; deciding what to prioritise; purchasing care;
quality monitoring of the services provided by organisations;
and measuring the impact of services on the health of the population.
CCGs do this in partnership with many community organisations,
as well as patient and carer representatives and the public.
Dr David Rooke, Chairman of the new Somerset CCG and a local GP
said: "Clinical commissioning offers tremendous opportunities
for GPs and frontline professionals to have a strong leadership
role, whilst at the same time working in closer partnership with
patients and carers. We will empower clinicians to represent their
patients and put the patients health care experiences and
journeys at the centre of our commissioning decisions."
"We are listening to patients views, stories and experiences
in order to incorporate these into the design of local health
services. With NHS budgets increasing a lower rate than the past
we have to meet the twin challenges of supporting the needs of
an aging patient population and public expectations, we must find
ways of delivering more with the same and not more of the same."
"We recognise that patients and carers need more information
if they are to influence and support the modernisation of local
health services. Such information should have its focus upon the
quality and the outcomes that services deliver."
The government has described CCGs as the cornerstone of its Health
and Social Care Act. Former Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health
authorities are being abolished and CCGs are being established
with the aim of giving frontline professionals a strong leadership
role in commissioning.
Dr David Rooke, Chairman of the Somerset Clinical Commissioning
Group, foreground, with some of the members that make up the new
Clinical Commissioning Group for Somerset