Who's who in the new NHS?

Whos who

Clinical commissioning groups

Clinical Commissioning Groups, formed from member GP practices, are independent statutory bodies taking responsibility for the commissioning of local services following the abolition of Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in April 2013.

There are approximately 200 CCGs, made up of all 8,000-plus GP practices in England. There is one CCG for Portsmouth which successfully complete the authorisation process to be fully authorised from the 1 April 2013.

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Find out who's who in NHS Portsmouth CCG


NHS England 

Formally established as the NHS Commissioning Board on 1 October 2012, NHS England is an independent body at arm’s length to the Government.  It plays a pivotal role in the Government’s vision to modernise the health service with the key aim of securing the best possible health outcomes for patients by prioritising them in every decision it makes.

The central role of the NHS England is to improve patient outcomes by supporting, developing and performance managing clinical commissioning groups. It also takes responsibility for commissioning services that can only be provided efficiently and effectively at a national or a regional level.

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Clinical networks and clinical senates

Clinical senates and clinical networks provide a multi-professional clinical advice to CCGs and the NHS Commissioning Board.

Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) will bring together groups of health professionals to support commissioners to improve services for a particular condition in order to improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients.


The NHS Commissioning Board has confirmed four initial SCN groupings which will operate throughout the country. These are:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Maternity and children
  • Mental health, dementia and neurological conditions.

SCNs will be supported and funded through network support teams covering 12 defined geographical areas. The support teams will be hosted by the NHS Commissioning Board.

Clinical senates will help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) and the NHS Commissioning Board to make the best decisions about healthcare for the populations they represent by providing advice and leadership at a strategic level.

Clinical Senates will not be focused on a particular condition. Instead they will take a broader, strategic view of healthcare within a particular geographic area, for example providing a strategic overview of major service change. They will be non-statutory, advisory bodies with no executive authority or legal obligations and therefore they will need to work collaboratively with commissioning organisations.

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Commissioning support units

GPs and other clinicians involved in CCGs will need support to commission effectively.

This is particularly the case for many non-clinical elements of commissioning such as contracting, performance management, financial services, ICT and medicines management.

The NHS South Commissioning Support Unit will provide some of those services to us and, as with CCGs, has successfully completed a number of checkpoints to ensure it is a viable organisation in its own right from April 2013.

CCGs may choose to host their own, internal support services, or contract from the CSUs, private or third sector organisations. 


Local authorities

The Act grants local authorities responsibilities for public health and stipulates that they must employ a director of public health.

The local authority must have regard to any guidance given by the health secretary in relation to its director of public health, including guidance on appointment, termination of appointment and terms and conditions of management.

Local authorities will also commission HealthWatch. 

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 Health and wellbeing boards

Health and wellbeing boards are being established in each upper tier local authority to promote integrated working across health and social care.

Drawing representatives from local authorities, health and social care, public health and patient groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards will produce the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and a Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the island.

Our aim is for the CCG to be an active participant in the Health and Wellbeing Board and we recognise its importance in identifying local priorities for commissioners.

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New patient and public bodies, known as local HealthWatch will act as a point of contact for individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations when dealing with health and social care and will have a representative seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board.

HealthWatch will be commissioned by the local authority and held to account by the local authority’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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