Simon Stevens announced he planned to invite interested CCGs to apply for co-commissioning powers. CCGs would need to show NHS England how they would advance integration, raise standards and cut health inequalities in primary care.
But GP leaders said the announcement showed the fragmented NHS was failling to deliver and NHS England lacked capacity to commission primary care well. Speaking at the conference of NHS Clinical Commissioners in London on Thursday, Mr Stevens said the proper resourcing of primary care required CCGs to have greater influence over funding.
CCGs will also be given a role in commissioning specialised services under the plans.
Mr Stevens said: ‘If we want to better integrate care outside hospitals, and properly resource primary, community and mental health services - at a time when overall funding is inevitably constrained - we need to make it easier for patients, local communities and local clinicians to exercise more clout over how services are developed.
‘That means giving local CCGs greater influence over the way NHS funding is being invested for their local populations. As well as new models for primary care, we will be taking a hard look at how CCGs can have more impact on NHS England’s specialised commissioning activities.'
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