Leading clinicians have today welcomed news that their new membership organisation has been authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board to take on its formal responsibilities from 1 April 2013.

Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will take over from NHS Gloucestershire next year and will be responsible for buying (commissioning) health services to meet the needs of local people.

Gloucestershire is leading the way with the CCG being one of only 34 across the country to be authorised as part of ‘Wave 1’.

The membership organisation of GP practices, will be responsible for buying services such as emergency care, operations and treatments that are planned in advance and community services.

CCG members will also bring their clinical knowledge of patient care to look at how services are planned and how the patient’s journey through care can be improved.

Clinical Chair of Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Helen Miller said:

“This is fantastic news and is the result of a huge amount of hard work by clinicians across Gloucestershire and the experienced managers who are supporting us. This achievement is particularly significant as we are one of the first tranche of CCGs to be authorised in England.”

“We have had to demonstrate that we have strong plans in place for commissioning high quality services for our patients, ensuring strong engagement with partners and communities and ensuring financial stability.”

North Cotswolds GP and member of the CCG Shadow Board, Dr Caroline Bennett said:

“As local clinicians, who talk regularly with our patients, members of our community and staff working for the NHS, we have good experience and knowledge of how services are working and how they can be made to work better.”

“We are already getting actively involved in looking at how we can join up services, develop innovative approaches to care and improve the patient’s overall experience.”

Forest of Dean GP and member of the CCG Shadow Board, Dr Martin Gibbs said:

“We are starting to develop our clinical programme approach which in simple terms means looking at certain health conditions and looking at the patient’s journey through care. Clinicians are using their knowledge and experience to see how care can be improved and how things can be made to work better.”

Stroud GP and member of the CCG Shadow Board, Dr Hein Le Roux said:

“Looking to the future, we want to join up care by supporting the further development of community teams, bringing together health and social care professionals as part of this and improving the co-ordination of services and wider community support for the individual.”

The CGG will now continue their preparations, work to meet in full the remaining authorisation conditions and ensure that the organisation is ready to formally take on its commissioning responsibilities from 1 April.