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Major health service reforms come into effect in April 2013

Major health service reforms come into effect in April 2013


New organisations which will commission and design healthcare services for local people have been given the green light to become fully established from April 2013

This is a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which is designed to put patients at the heart of the NHS, devolve more power to clinicians and reduce bureaucracy.

Although significant changes to the local NHS are under way, you won’t notice any difference to how you access your GP and get the care you need, but over time the new arrangements will provide a much better opportunity to improve services for local people.

New clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been developed which place family doctors in the driving seat of delivering the NHS reforms. Working with their patients, this provides a great opportunity for clinical leaders, together with partners and others, to improve quality and achieve better outcomes for patients.

Under the changes, primary care trusts (PCTs) nationally will be abolished in April 2013 and CCGs will take over some of their responsibilities.

CCGs are very different from PCTs and any of their predecessors. They are made up of member GP practices which, through their constitution, establish a governing body to oversee the way they carry out their responsibilities.

As a minimum, the governing body includes GPs, a hospital specialist, a nurse, two lay members, a chief financial officer and the accountable officer.

Six CCGs will be established across Airedale, Bradford and Leeds from 1 April 2013 with accountable officers as follows:

  • Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven – Dr Phil Pue

  • Bradford City – Helen Hirst

  • Bradford Districts – Helen Hirst

  • Leeds North – Nigel Gray

  • Leeds West - Philomena Corrigan

  • Leeds South and East- Matthew Ward

Each CCG must go through a strict process to become authorised as a statutory NHS body. This provides assurance that they have the right skills and abilities to take on responsibility for commissioning NHS services for their populations. In Airedale, Bradford and Leeds this has been made easier because GPs have been involved in commissioning for a long time and have a lot of experience.

What will the changes mean?

Services CCGs will buy include:

  • community health services

  • maternity services

  • planned hospital care (operations, scans etc)

  • rehabilitation services

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

  • continuing healthcare (a package of care provided outside hospital, arranged and funded by the NHS, for people with ongoing healthcare needs).

Some specialist services will be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board:

  • primary medical services, including community pharmacy and NHS sight tests

  • all dental services

  • specialised services

  • high security psychiatric services

  • health services for prisoners

  • some services for members of the armed forced and their families

  • some public health services.

Public health services will be provided by local councils including responsibility for health improvement services such as;

  • most sexual health services

  • the Healthy Child programme for school age children – including school nurses

  • local programmes to promote physical activity, healthy eating and weight management

  • drug and alcohol misuse services

  • stop smoking services

  • local projects to prevent accidental injury, such as stopping people falling

  • local projects to reduce deaths related to the seasons, for example, cold-related deaths in winter emergency planning.

The Directors of Public Health are:

Leeds City Council - Dr Ian Cameron

Bradford Metropolitan District Council- Dr Anita Parkin

Each local authority will also be responsible for the joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA). This includes identifying the health needs of each area through an assessment of health and wellbeing so that the right services can be put in place now and in the future.

Public Health England will assume responsibility for protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of the population and in reducing inequalities in health and wellbeing.

Contact details, including website links to all new health organisations, will be available at and

Kevin Howells, Acting Chief Executive of Airedale, Bradford and Leeds Primary Care Trust said,
“We are confident that in April 2013 there will be a smooth handover of our commissioning and public health responsibilities to the CCGs, local authorities and NHS Commissioning Board.

We have ensured that the new organisations have solid foundations on which to build their health commissioning priorities thanks to the efforts of our staff and partners.”

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