A decade ago, there was a party at Number 10 Downing Street. It was a different time, though still a controversial time. As guests mingled, shaking hands, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, welcomed the bright new GP leaders who would head the 2012 reorganisation of the NHS – a reorganisation that would put GPs front and centre of commissioning the majority of healthcare, holding £65bn of the £95bn NHS commissioning budget.
Jump forward to 2022 and CCGs are consigned to history like primary care trusts and primary care groups before them. So before those clinical leaders are dispersed to core practice work, the private sector, retirement, primary care networks (PCNs) or the newly minted integrated care systems (ICSs) we’ve captured their thoughts and feelings.
Through eight interviews with CCG chairs past and present and a poll of 143 clinical commissioning leaders and staff, we’ve pulled together a snapshot of the past decade’s successes and current concerns to evaluate and reflect what CCGs achieved and predict what ICBs need to be wary of and build on for future success. The report records some of the work done by CCGs and gauges opinions on what the future could look like after GP-led commissioning.
It also seeks to recognise a decade of dedication from the GPs who put their heads above the parapet and became commissioners. It’s a role that, at times, brought them into conflict with colleagues, but always with the aim to create a clinically led service with better outcomes for patients.