Every GP practice offers a range of different health services – these could include asthma care, contraceptive planning and advice, minor surgery such as mole removal and management of long term conditions such as diabetes.
Currently a central organisation called NHS England (NHSE) plans and develops the primary care services that GP practices provide.
NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), along with other local CCGs in England, currently commissions acute hospital services, community health services and mental health services for our local population.
From April 2015 this is going to change. In addition to the services we currently commission, CCGs will begin to work together as a larger group to plan and develop their local primary care health services - NHSE will still have some involvement. This is because the NHS wants local clinicians and local communities to have more influence over how primary care services are developed.
This is part of the NHS' vision to improve the quality of services for patients, provide greater value for money and address any local health inequalities (such as mortality rates) and will result in a more responsive health service.
CCGs and NHSE working together in this way to plan and deliver primary care services is called 'co-commissioning'.
It is one of a series of changes set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View to transform the way primary and community care services are provided for local people.