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Clinical commissioning GPs in charge?

Clinical involvement and clinical leadership are essential components of high-quality commissioning. Research from the NHS and elsewhere shows that clinically led approaches to planning and designing health services are more likely to be effective and innovative than those that do not involve clinicians (McDermott et al 2015; Miller et al 2015). In line with this, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were designed to put GPs at the heart of NHS planning decisions. This report looks at what progress CCGs have made, in the three years since their launch, in implementing this model and what needs to be done to build on this.

This is the final output of a four-year research project, led by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, which has followed six CCGs from their pre-authorisation phase to where they are now.

The report aims to share learning from CCGs’ experience so far about securing effective GP involvement in commissioning, and to make recommendations about what needs to be done to ensure that the GP voice is heard in the future. The lessons in this report are not only relevant to policy-makers and CCGs looking to develop their model, they also provide important learning for other organisations across the NHS that are involved in the planning and design of services. These include new integrated provider organisations, who are increasingly taking on commissioninglike work, and the emerging place-based planning approach, in which commissioners and providers are collaborating across local areas to transform care through sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).