The new NHS: clinical commissioning groups

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are the cornerstone of the new health system. Each of the 8,000 GP practices in England is now part of a CCG. There are more than 200 CCGs altogether commissioning care for an average of 226,000 people each.

CCGs commission the majority of health services, including emergency care, elective hospital care, maternity services, and community and mental health services. From April 2015 many CCGs began to take on more responsibility for commissioning general practice in their area.

Related publications and slidepacks

Primary care co-commissioning chart

Primary care co-commissioning chart
Primary care co-commissioning: a survey of members’ views of their CCG
This slidepack presents the key findings from a survey of GPs in six CCGs. The survey explored members' views of their CCG and its role in primary care.

Risk or reward thumbnail

Risk or reward thumbnail
Risk or reward? The changing role of CCGs in general practice
Our report with the Nuffield Trust aims to assist CCGs in making the transition to primary care co-commissioning by highlighting the potential risks and rewards of their new role.

Clinical commissioning groups: Supporting improvement in general practice? front cover

Clinical commissioning groups: Supporting improvement in general practice? front cover
Clinical commissioning groups: supporting improvement in general practice?
The first report in the The King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust's project to assess the implementation and impact of CCGs provides an overview of developments through to March 2013.


Commissioning and contracting for integrated care
This report describes how CCGs are innovating with alternative approaches to commissioning and contracting as a way of driving integrated care.

Related blogs


Co-commissioning: a new relationship between GPs and their CCG
On 1 April 2015, about 70 per cent of CCGs took on a greater role in the commissioning of services from their member GP practices.

John Richards

John Richards, Chief Officer of NHS Southampton City CCG
The best of times, the worst of times: a personal view from the CCG front line
What are some the challenges currently facing CCGs? John Richards, Chief Officer of NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, shares his thoughts.

Rachael Addicott

Rachael Addicott
Can CCGs become accountable care organisations?
‘We need clinical commissioning groups to become accountable care organisations’ – that’s what Jeremy Hunt said recently in parliament. But what does this really mean?

Ruth Robertson

Ruth Robertson
Take care CCGs: it was the conflict of interest that tripped them up last time
Will co-commissioning give patients, communities and clinicians ‘more clout’ in deciding how local services are developed, at a time when NHS finances are severely strained?

External articles

Candace Imison

10 priorities for commissioners from April

As commissioning groups take on new responsibilites, Candace Imison sets out the top priorities for commissioners in her article for the Health Service Journal.

Veronika Thiel

Veronika Thiel
Commissioning support unit structures and how will they operate

Veronika Thiel writes in the Health Service Journal that commissioning support units are set to take on important functions in the NHS structure.

Related projects

The evolution of clinical commissioning: learning from local experience

We are working together with the Nuffield Trust to further understand the development of CCGs and the challenges they will face as one of the centrepieces of the government's NHS reforms.

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