NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens set out on Thursday plans to invite CCGs to apply to co-commission primary care with area teams.
GP leaders' response to the proposals has been cautious, with the GPC warning that it showed the fragmented NHS was failing to deliver and NHS England lacked capacity to commission primary care well.
But speaking at the conference of NHS Clinical Commissioners in London on Thursday, Mr Stevens said the proper resourcing of primary care required CCGs to have greater influence over funding.
CCGs will also be given a role in commissioning specialised services under plans to be outlined in coming weeks.
CCGs to be guiding lights
Mr Stevens was backed by Mr Hunt who was said the plans would set CCGs free to be the ‘guiding lights’ to ‘craft the entire out-of-hospital plans’ in their areas.
Mr Hunt said the plan was ‘even bigger and more ambitious’ than the creation of CCGs a year ago.
‘I want to challenge you’, he said, ‘to be the guiding lights in your areas to craft the entire out-of-hospital plans. Whether it's the social care system that you co-commission with local authorities, or whether it's co-commissioning of primary care with NHS England.
'You are the people who know what to do with your area, and you are the people as doctors who can also persuade other doctors of the care pathways that need to happen, and I think this will be a real moment when we can do something incredibly exciting.’