NHS leaders in Herefordshire given new powers to commission GP services

Doctors and NHS managers in Herefordshire will take on a new role, helping to buy GP services for the area from April 1 2015.

Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation currently responsible for buying secondary care - which includes things like the healthcare provided by hospitals – will begin ‘joint commissioning’ GP services in April after their application was approved by NHS England.

The new responsibilities mean the CCG will work alongside NHS England to make decisions about which GP services to buy for the population of Herefordshire, either through a joint committee or ‘committees in common’.

The CCG was one of 87 given the new ‘joint commissioning’ responsibility.

In February, a further 64 CCGs were approved for ‘delegated commissioning’ powers, meaning that from April 1 more than 70 per cent of CCGs will take on new responsibilities for buying GP services in their area.

Dr Andy Watts, Chair of Herefordshire CCG, said: “It’s a huge boost to have our application for joint commissioning powers approved by NHS England and shows they have confidence in our ability to deliver on this critical work in the future.

“Primary care services, like dentists, pharmacists, opticians and GPs are, for many people, the first contact with healthcare services,” he said. “Because of this, they can play a vital role in joining up healthcare to ensure we are giving the people of Herefordshire the care they need at the right time and in the right place and in a way that is seamless and efficient.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to start building a joined up system of healthcare across Herefordshire which provides high quality, well-organised care now and well into the future.”