In order to shift decision-making as close as possible to patients, power and responsibility for commissioning services has been devolved to local groups of clinicians.
Your local GP practices have joined other health professionals in a CCG, which is responsible for “commissioning” — planning, designing and paying for your NHS services. This will includes planned and emergency hospital care, rehabilitation, most community services and mental health and learning disability services.
GPs and other clinicians are also responsible for engaging with local people to ensure that the services they are paying for meet your needs.
NHS England is the national body that oversees the performance of CCGs, as well as commissioning GP services, pharmacy, opticians and dentists, and other specialised services.
A new consumer body called HealthWatch England has replaced the previous Local Involvement Networks (LINks). They are charged with promoting public engagement in the NHS, commenting on changes to local services, acting as advocates for complaints, and delivering advice across health and social care.