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Clinical Commissioning Groups

What are Clinical Commissioning Groups?

Clinical Commissioning Groups are groups of GPs responsible for designing local health services in England. They will do this by commissioning or buying health and care services including:  

  • Elective hospital care
  • Rehabilitation care
  • Urgent and emergency care
  • Most community health services
  • Mental health and learning disability services

Clinical Commissioning Groups work with patients and healthcare professionals and in partnership with local communities and local authorities. On their governing body, Groups have, in addition to GPs, a least one registered nurse and a doctor who is a secondary care specialist. Groups have boundaries that do not normally cross those of local authorities. Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for arranging emergency and urgent care services within their boundaries, and for commissioning services for any unregistered patients who live in their area. All GP practices have to belong to a Clinical Commissioining Group.


A day in the life of a CCG Chief Officer (Guardian Professional, 7 December 2012).


Who oversees Clinical Commissioning Groups?

The Clinical Commissioning Groups are overseen by NHS England, which ensures that Clinical Commissioning Groups have the capacity and capability to commission services successfully and to meet their financial responsibilities. NHS England's senior structures contain a range of healthcare professionals, and it has a Medical Director and a Chief Nursing Officer on its board.

NHS England is also responsible for directly commissioning:

  • Pharmacy services
  • General Practice
  • Dentistry services
  • Specialist services (specialised services that are required by a limited number of people)

At a local level, there are Health and Wellbeing Boards in local authorities to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups are meeting the needs of local people. The membership of these boards includes representatives from:

  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Directors of public health
  • Children’s services
  • Adult Social Services
  • Elected councillors
  • Healthwatch (representing the views of patients, carers and local communities)


To find out more:



Keeping up to date with the changes 

There are a number of websites that provide updates on issues involving the NHS, including Clinical Commissioining Groups.


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