On 1 April 2013 we saw a significant shift in the way healthcare services are run.
The new system has put you, the patient, closer to the decision-making processes required in running health services. It has also given local GPs and other health professionals the responsibility for commissioning healthcare services.
Before 1 April, the local primary care trust, NHS Suffolk, was responsible for healthcare commissioning in the county of Suffolk, with the exception of Waveney.
Now, two groups of GPs across Suffolk have taken over that responsibility, and it is up to them to buy, manage and pay for health services such as:
- Emergency hospital care
- Rehabilitation services
- Most community healthcare services
- Mental health
- Learning disability services
These two new groups are called West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG) for the west of the county and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (IESCCG) in the east of the county.
Because the CCGs are made up of local GPs and health professionals, they are best-placed to know what services you need when you are unwell.
They will make sure that the services delivered are those needed, based on local knowledge of services and contact with patients.
For patients, this means you will be at the heart of decisions made about your healthcare and you will be able to make decisions with your GP about the type of treatment that is best for you.
Patients generally will also have more choice and control over who they are treated by, and a stronger voice through a new national body, Healthwatch.