The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), NHS Alliance and NHS Confederation have joined forces to form NHS Clinical Commissioners.
Publication Clinical Commissioning in Action details examples from 12 CCGs across England where clinically-led initiatives have both improved the quality of healthcare services for patients and saved money.
The foreword, signed by Dr Michael Dixon, NHS Alliance chairman and NHSCC interim president, Dr Charles Alessi, NAPC chairman and NHSCC interim chairman, and Mike Farrar, NHS Confederation chief executive and NHSCC steering group member, says; ‘Was it easy? Mostly not. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Patients were placed at the heart of the healthcare system and services were designed to meet their needs.’
The document was launched at a briefing in central London on Thursday and present were representatives of two CCGs featured.
Dr Steve Kell, GP and chairman of the Bassetlaw Commissioning Organisation in Nottinghamshire and also an Inside Commissioning blogger, explained how GPs looked at prescribing to ensure patients were getting appropriate drugs. Healthcare-associated infections can be avoided by cutting back on the prescription of drugs which can make it more likely patients develop clostridium difficile. Bassetlaw persuaded GPs on the strength of the evidence, with GPs being influenced by their peers to change their practice.
Dr Peter Wilcynski, interim chairman of NHS Corby CCG in Northamptonshire, explained how referrals were reduced by a quarter in one year with practices agreeing that all referrals into secondary care, except for time-dependent ones such as suspected cancer, should be reviewed. How this happens differs from practice to practice but GPs have been willing to discuss cases with their peers.
* Also included is South Devon and Torbay CCG. Watch a presentation given at the recent Commissioning 2012 about its work.
* Editor's Blog: How successful will clinical commissioning groups be?