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United we stand

United we stand
4 September 2013

A new organisation has sprung up to champion the concerns of clinical commissioners. Born of three long-standing membership organisation, NHS Clinical Commissioners explains what it will offer burgeoning CCGs 

A new organisation has sprung up to champion the concerns of clinical commissioners. Born of three long-standing membership organisation, NHS Clinical Commissioners explains what it will offer burgeoning CCGs 
Early in May, a clinical commissioning group (CCG) leader welcomed the Government’s announcement on integration. Not many people would have known, except he was offering his views on BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme. Later that same day the Health Select Committee took evidence on the implementation of the Health and Social care Act 2012. Again central to the session was the voice of the CCG and their experience to date.
The route in for both the BBC and the Select Committee to get that CCG voice was through NHS Clinical Commissioners, the only independent membership organisation exclusively for CCGs.
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) was established through a partnership between the NHS Alliance, National Association of Primary Care and NHS Confederation as the independent collective voice of CCGs.
As an organisation we see our core role as supporting our members to be the very best they can to help CCGs secure the best possible healthcare and health outcomes for their communities and patients. We do this by giving CCGs a strong, influencing voice from the frontline to the wider NHS, national bodies, government, parliament and the media. We’re building new networks where CCGs can share experience and expertise; and by providing information, support, tools and resources to help CCGs do their job better.
We are driven and committed to delivering programmes that are shaped and developed by our members. Our independence means we’re only accountable to our members and it is very important for us that we are ‘of’ our members not existing solely ‘for’ them.
But what does that mean in reality?
First we are actively engaging with key stakeholders from across healthcare and beyond. We meet on a regular basis with organisations including NHS England, Monitor, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 
Our key aim is to make sure that the CCG interest is recognised in discussion across the NHS and that stakeholders know to come to us to obtain a collective view of what CCGs are thinking. 
We are also asserting the centrality of CCGs as being key to ensuring the new system functions successfully for patients and communities.
We are also promoting the CCG voice to the media and beyond, through news releases, authoring articles, providing media spokespeople and publishing blogs.Our members are telling us that what they want and need is the opportunity to meet together in communities of interest. That is why we brought 150 CCG leaders together earlier in the year at our first national event Shaping our future together, to hear from keynotes speakers including Sir Ian Kennedy, Dr Martin McShane and Secretary of Sate for Health, Jeremy Hunt. We’re also developing a range of networks, forums and communities of interest. 
Our initial offering includes: 
 – The core cities CCG network. 
 – A mental health commissioners network. 
 – A person and community-centred commissioning network. 
 – The CCG leaders network. 
 – A finance and governance forum. 
 – The national ambulance commissioners network.
And finally we’re producing practical guidance and resources to help our members achieve effective clinical commissioning at the local level. 
We are determined to provide CCGs with easy access to products, tools and resources that have been developed, commissioned or peer reviewed by clinical commissioners from across the whole country, with opportunities to discuss and share feedback on these with colleagues.
Nearly 75% of all CCGs are members of NHSCC and we are committed to the success of clinical commissioning. The success of CCGs is intrinsic to the success of the reformed NHS. We are determined that our members are able to be the best they can acting as confident autonomous CCGs asserting their role in ensuring the new system delivers for their patients and communities. 

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