A total of 174 CCGs have already taken on fully delegated control of primary care commissioning, and the remaining 33 - around one in six of all CCGs in England - could follow suit from 1 April 2018.
NHS England is committed to 'support the majority of CCGs to assume delegated responsibilities for the commissioning of primary medical services from 1 April' as part of its strategy to promote new care models and support 'place-based commissioning'.
CCGs that have currently not taken on full control of primary care commissioning have been invited to apply from 1 November this year to do so.
An NHS England letter inviting CCGs to apply says: 'The delegated commissioning model is delivering a number of benefits for CCGs and local populations. It is critical to local sustainability and transformation planning (STPs), supporting the development of more coherent commissioning plans for healthcare systems and giving CCGs greater ability to transform primary care services.
'CCGs have also reported that delegated commissioning is giving them greater insight into practice performance issues, greater opportunities to develop a more sustainable primary care workforce and is helping to strengthen relationships between CCGs and practices.'
CCGs with delegated powers will manage contracts, including designing PMS and APMS deals, take contractual action such as serving remedial notices and removing contracts, and will have power over locally agreed and nationally set enhanced services - LESs and DESs - and the design of local QOF alternatives. They will be able to establish new practices, approve mergers and award discretionary payments.