1 April 2013 marks the beginning of a new era for health services in Lewisham when the new NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (Lewisham CCG) becomes the commissioner of most healthcare services for the population of Lewisham.
Across the country, clinical commissioning groups replace primary care trusts which were abolished as part of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.
Lewisham CCG has been working for the last eighteen months to take on these new responsibilities and after being authorised by the National Commissioning Board in January this year, is ready for business.
As a membership organisation, where the members include all 41 GP practices in the borough, Lewisham CCG is well equipped to understand the health needs of the diverse Lewisham population and ambitious health improvement plans have been developed. Responsibilities include planning and buying healthcare services to meet almost all the healthcare needs of the local population and ensuring that those services are of the highest quality.
A key feature of the NHS reforms was that patients should be at the heart of the NHS, with ‘no decision about me, without me’ as a central theme. Lewisham CCG is building and developing partnerships, working closely with local organisations such as Lewisham Council, Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust and other health organisations and is encouraging local people and patients to get more involved in their local health services.
Dr Helen Tattersfield, Chair of NHS Lewisham CCG and local GP said,
“As GPs we are well placed to understand local needs and know from our patients what works well for them and where we need to focus on making things better. Between us, the healthcare professionals on our board have many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to bring to the table, and are committed to tackling health inequalities and making sure that local people receive the best possible care”.
A new website has been launched at www.lewishamccg.nhs.uk where people can find out more about how the CCG works and the priorities that have been set in partnership with local people.
If you would like to get more involved in the work of the CCG and help influence local health services in Lewisham, please contact our Engagement Manager, Grannie Bellenie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3049 3204.
Notes for editors
1. Primary Care Trusts have been abolished from 31 March 2013 as the changes outlined in the Health & Social Care Act 2012 come into force.
2. More information about the responsibilities of CCGs and the role of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) can be found on the their website at www.commissioningboard.nhs.uk
3. Commissioning and monitoring primary care services (GPs, dentists, opticians, and pharmacies) and certain specialised health services are the responsibilities of the NHS Commissioning Board.
4. Please direct any enquiries regarding Lewisham CCG to the Communications Team at 020 3049 3333.