Bradford’s new clinical leaders step up to the challenge of improving local people’s health and wellbeing

The two new organisations which buy and design healthcare services for Bradford people are driving forward their commitment to work with patients, partners and the public to deliver excellent local healthcare.

In the year of the NHS’s 65th birthday the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGS) are part of one of the most significant changes in the way the NHS works: putting local clinicians in control of most of the local healthcare budget and designing services around the needs of individual people and the communities they live in.

Bradford City and Bradford Districts CCGs took over some of the responsibilities of the former local primary care trust (PCT), including commissioning the following services:

  • planned hospital care (eg: operations, scans)

  • mental health services

  • community health services (eg: district nurses)

  • maternity services (eg: midwives, antenatal clinics)

  • rehabilitation services (eg: physiotherapy, occupational therapy)

  • urgent and emergency care, including A&E, ambulances and out-of-hours services

  • continuing healthcare (a package of care provided outside hospital for people with ongoing healthcare needs)


As part of their role, the CCGs are also changing the face of patient and public engagement by putting patients at the heart of what they do.

The change to clinical commissioning brings real benefits for patients, with most decisions about how public money is used by the NHS being made in the community by clinicians who are closest to the needs of local people.

This means that doctors, who know their patients best, now have the power and freedom to make decisions about the care and services they provide for their local communities.

Bradford City CCG’s vision is reducing health inequalities for all and its focus is:

  • tackling diabetes; and

  • engaging with local people


Bradford Districts CCG’s vision is better health for the people of Bradford and its priorities focus on:

  • stopping people from dying early, especially from cardiovascular disease

  • helping people with long-term conditions to live better lives

  • improving the patient experience.


Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair of Bradford City CCG, said:
“It’s hard to grasp just how far the NHS has come since it was created 65 years ago and I’m proud to be part of one of the most significant changes in its history.

“Local clinicians, who are closest to the needs of the people they look after, are now leading the improvements in services that everyone wants to see – and involving patients at every step of the way as we learn from their experiences to make changes that really matter to local people.”

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG, said:
“The change to a clinically-led NHS is a fantastic opportunity to focus on delivering improved health outcomes, quality, innovation and public engagement.

“We’ve already started to see results from this new way of working, which will bring real benefits to patients; and we’re looking forward to taking local people with us as we improve services and help patients to live longer, healthier lives.”

The Bradford CCGs are working collaboratively and their successes so far include:

  • award for innovative kidney disease project which helps previously undiagnosed patients manage the early stages of chronic kidney disease

  • developing integrated care to help more patients manage their health in the community without needing a hospital stay – and greater support for elderly and vulnerable patients returning home

  • new childhood asthma care plans to reduce the number of children and young people who have asthma attacks which need hospital treatment

  • improved treatment for heart and stroke patients – a project helping patients learn more about their condition and stay well for the long-term.


A priority for both CCGs is meaningful engagement with their partners, patients and local people.

Several members of the public have attended Bradford Districts’ meetings to talk about their experiences of using services – and of working with other local people to make improvements. Themes discussed include treating people as individuals and with respect, listening to what they have to say, effective communications and a clear route to raise concerns.

And members of Bradford City’s governing body have had in depth discussions around what real engagement and involvement for local people looks like, with representatives from the former Local Involvement Network, a cardiac patient who helped others manage their condition and members of a patient participation group.

The CCGs are keen to hear people’s views and ideas about any aspect of their work and how people would like to be involved going forward. People can get in touch through the feedback forms on the CCGs’ websites at: