Doctors: Your health in safe hands

GPs and other health professionals in NHS clinical commissioning groups have this week, started the journey towards full responsibility for the planning of and decision making for NHS healthcare and services for local people.

From last week NHS clinical commissioning groups have new decision-making powers, delegated to them from primary care trusts. This is a step towards CCGs having full statutory responsibility.

This will mean local doctors and healthcare professionals will take the lead in ensuring that better quality, sustainable healthcare and services are available to local people.

There are three NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across east London and the City. They are City and Hackney CCG, Newham CCG and Tower Hamlets CCG.

Clinical commissioning groups are working with local authorities, the voluntary sector and patient groups, to understand the needs of patients and to plan their care.

Listening to what these stakeholders and patients say, CCGs will work to further improve the health services and the health and wellbeing of local people.

The Chairs of Newham CCG are Dr Hardip Nandra and Dr Ashwin Shah.

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Dr Nandra said: “There have been many concerns raised about the new NHS arrangements and the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill has been very controversial.

“I would like to reassure patients that when you next see your GP you will continue to receive the best possible care, under the NHS. If necessary and as normal, the GP will refer you on to other NHS services if that is required.

“What will be different is that GPs and other health professionals will meet together as clinical commissioning groups and we will use our expertise to plan future health services and ensure the right services are in place for our patients.”

Dr Shah said: “As clinicians we understand the health issues in our community and want to support local people to have healthier, longer lives. The local community is getting healthier and local people tell us that health services are improving. We will ensure that money for healthcare and health services is spent where need is the greatest.”

The primary care trusts that form NHS North East London and the City have the statutory responsibility for purchasing healthcare on behalf of the population. From 1 April 2013, under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, full statutory responsibility will move to clinician-led CCGs.

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