Across the country frontline health professionals are preparing to take on responsibility for buying and managing your health care services.
By April next year NHS Suffolk, the primary care trust - which has the job of buying services for 600,000 people - will cease to exist.
In its place will be clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), led by GPs. These groups will become responsible for buying and planning health care.
It has already been decided that there will be two CCGs in Suffolk – the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, which will be responsible for approximately 235,000 patients, and the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, with responsibility for approximately 385,000 patients.Both of these have been formed and their executive committees elected.
Each CCG board is made up of GPs, but each one has to have two lay members on it as well.
Both CCGs will now set about establishing the most effective methods of moving to the new framework.
Part of this includes setting up effective management teams. In Suffolk there has already been agreement that there will be only one management team as this will keep costs down.
NHS Suffolk Chief Executive Dr Paul Watson said: “By having two CCGs you get a much more local focus than you have with the single county arrangement. And, it makes good financial sense to have one management support structure working for both CCGs. So the two groups will share certain elements of that management structure – such as the accountable officer and the chief financial officer - and of their infrastructure.
Each CCG has a separate chief operating officer who focuses on practice- facing work such as prescribing and service redesign.”