What has happened to my local Primary Care Trust?
From 1 April 2013 primary care ceased to exist, being replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). These are organisations made up of GPs and health professionals, who will now take the lead in working with patients to decide what range of health services are needed for our local population.
How many CCGs does the former NHS Suffolk region now have?
Two. West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG) for the west of the county, and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (IESCCG) in the east of the county. West Suffolk has 25 GP practices and Ipswich and East Suffolk has 41 – you can view where all of these by clicking here. In each of these two areas, GP practices are grouped into consortia or clusters
What does clinical commissioning mean for me as a patient in West Suffolk?
As a patient, you will be at the heart of decisions made about healthcare in West Suffolk. We have created a Community Engagement Group (CEG) as a formal subcommittee of our governing body – a formal route for the patient voice to influence decision-making at the CCG. The CEG is one method we use to engage with and involve patients and the public, and is made up of no more than 20 people, with an interest in influencing healthcare commissioning in west Suffolk at a strategic level.
Members of the CEG work closely with key CCG staff to give a patient and public view on relevant healthcare topics. This helps to inform and influence commissioning processes, decision-making, planning and prioritising across a wide range of healthcare services. Representatives on the CEG include patients, members of the public, Healthwatch, Suffolk Congress (of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations), the CCG Chief Operating Officer, the CCG Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement and two to three managers and officers.
The CEG meets every two months, taking meetings around various locations across west Suffolk including Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Haverhill, Mildenhall, Brandon and Sudbury. As a patient, you will also be able to make decisions with your GP about the type of treatment that is best for you. Patients in general will also have more choice and control over who they are treated by – and will be able to get the information they need, such as how well a particular hospital carries out a particular treatment, to help them decide the best type of care. Patients will also have a strong collective voice through the new national body, Healthwatch.
What does clinical commissioning mean for GPs practices in west Suffolk?
Clinical commissioning means GPs and health professionals in west Suffolk are using their knowledge and expertise to lead and improve the healthcare commissioning process. GPs and health professionals will work with the support of managers, and a shared management team, which will work for both CCGs in Suffolk. Some GPs will have formal leadership roles as part of the CCG’s governing body, and will bring together the views of member GP practices in the commissioning plans of the CCG.
Who are clinical commissioning groups responsible to?
The CCGs are supported by and held to account for improving patient outcomes by NHS England.
How can I get involved and have my say?
Join the West Suffolk CCG Health Forum and you will receive regular updates on healthcare issues as well as a regular NHS West Suffolk CCG newsletter. Occasionally, you may be invited to take part in a meeting or survey, too. To join the health forum, click here. When signing up, remember to tell us the areas of health and health care that most interest you, so we can get in touch with relevant news and information.
Who’s in charge at the West Suffolk CCG?
The West Suffolk CCG is led by a governing body, whose membership is made up of GPs, Practice Managers, a secondary care clinician, lay members and chief officers. Also present at the Governing Body as non-voting observers are Anne Nicholls, chair of the CCG’s Community Engagement Group and a representative from Healthwatch Suffolk, the heath and social care watchdog. The governing body meetings are held in public, and members of the public are welcome to observe the meeting, and there is an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions at the end of the meeting – and questions should relate to the items under discussion and must be a question rather than statement.
More about NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group
With responsibility for 241,000 people in the west of the county, the West Suffolk CCG has a membership of 25 GP practices stretching from Sudbury to Haverhill and from Woolpit to Newmarket. After speaking to, and working with stakeholders, the CCG has developed an ambition to deliver the highest quality health service in west Suffolk through integrated working.
To support this overall ambition, there are six main priorities for the West Suffolk CCG:
• Develop clinical leadership
• Demonstrate excellence in patient experience and patient engagement
• Improve the health and care of older people
• Improve access to mental health services
• Improve health and wellbeing through partnership working
• Deliver financial sustainability through quality improvement