What is a CCG and how will the changes to the NHS affect me?

The Government has recently passed major reforms that change the way in which the NHS (National Health Service) is run, passing responsibility of healthcare services to local CCGs.

What is a CCG?
From April 2013, St Helens CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) will be responsible for organising all local healthcare, replacing Halton and St Helens PCT (Primary Care Trust). St Helens CCG is made up of doctors, nurses and health workers from the 37 GP Practices located in the borough.

How will the changes affect me?
There should not be any changes to the way in which you will receive your healthcare. Even though your GP may be actively involved in the CCG, he/she will continue to see their patients as usual.

Why have these changes been brought in?
The Government believes that because GPs and health workers have the most regular contact with patients, they should be the ones have a better understanding of your health needs and so they should be the ones who commission and plan local services.

It is also hoped that these changes will allow the general public to have more influence over what health services should be available locally. Information about how local health services are performing should also become more accessible.

How can I have my say on health priorities?
St Helens CCG is encouraging local people to give their views on what health priorities matter the most to them. They will be holding several ‘Talk to Us’ events where you can ask questions and give your opinions, and you can also send your feedback about health priorities to:

  • lynne.woods@hstpct.nhs.uk
  • Lynne Woods, NHS Halton and St Helens, Freepost RRKU-KLHE-LSKX, Widnes Health Care Resource Centre, Oaks Place, Caldwell Road, Widnes, WA8 7GD

More information about the changes to the NHS can be found via the Department of Health website.