A local GP is at the helm of a pivotal NHS organisation for Devon that marks its first day of operation today, 1 April 2019.
Dr Paul Johnson, who lives in Exeter and is a GP at Cricketfield Surgery in Newton Abbot, takes up the post of Clinical Chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (Devon CCG) which will serve 1.2million across the whole county.
Devon CCG is formed from the merger of South Devon and Torbay CCG and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, which have both now been formally dissolved.
Devon CCG, acts as the headquarters for the NHS in the county and has a budget of more than £1.8 billion. It brings together experienced healthcare professionals to decide what services are needed in the local area and ensure that they are provided. The process of planning, buying and monitoring healthcare is known as commissioning.
Dr Johnson said: “Creating one CCG for the county gives us a wonderful opportunity to take NHS care in Devon into an exciting future and we will now have a powerful single voice in the commissioning of health services.
“We will bring the strength that comes from being the fifth biggest CCG in England, but our teams based across Devon are focussed on shaping local services to meet the varying needs of people in our many diverse communities.
“We’re looking forward to working with our NHS and local authority partners, patient groups and local people to design and develop services that improve the lives of people across our beautiful county.”
Devon CCG commissions other organisations – including NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, independent organisations, social enterprises and charities – to provide services such as:
• Urgent and emergency care, such as NHS 111, A&E and ambulance services
• Planned (elective) hospital care, such as operations and treatments
• Mental health services
• Community health services, including community nursing and physiotherapy
• Rehabilitation for people recovering from operations and certain conditions
• Maternity and new-born services (excluding neonatal intensive care)
• Health services for children and young people
• Infertility services
• Continuing health care for people with on-going health needs
And from 1 April 2019, Devon CCG will take responsibility for commissioning primary care (mainly GP) services in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, a role which formerly belonged to NHS England.
Dr Johnson added: “This is great news and gives us the ability to commission primary, community, mental health, and acute care services to meet the needs of patients in a much more joined-up way.”
Devon CCG, like its two forerunner CCGs, will also play a pivotal role in the county’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), which brings together health and local authority partners to address how local services will evolve to deliver a vision of better health, better care and improved efficiency.
The CCG will play a key role in the STP’s work to develop Devon’s version of the recently published NHS Long Term Plan, which aims to make the NHS fit for the future, and to get the most value for patients out of every pound of taxpayers’ investment.
Like all CCGs, Devon CCG is a clinically-led member organisation and is made up of 130 member GP practices in Devon, all of which are rated either good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
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