Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a membership organisation involving 84 GP practices. We are responsible for spending over £2m a day on healthcare for our circa 575,700 registered patients across the Sandwell and West Birmingham area. We commission (buy and monitor) services on behalf of our population. This involves deciding what services are needed for our local population and ensuring these are provided.
The CCG has its own unique challenges. It has a diverse, rapidly changing population that, historically, comes from an industrial background but has more recently seen the growth of ethnic minority groups.
The White Paper 2010 outlined how the NHS was to become a patient-centred service, led by the very people delivering that service – clinicians. This led to the abolition of Primary Care Trusts at the end of March 2013 and the emergence of new clinically led commissioning groups – CCGs.
Each CCG was subjected to a rigorous authorisation process to ensure it was fit for purpose and ready to take on the responsibility for commissioning budgets. Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG showed great progress through the authorisation process and was authorised as a Wave 1 CCG by NHS England on 5 December 2012. Since that date further work has been undertaken, and Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG was fully authorised to take on the full range of its statutory duties from 1 April 2013.
In 2013 we were awarded the Health Service Journal's Clinical Commissioning Group of the Year Award. This was followed in 2014, by winning the Pulse General Practice's Award for Commissioners of the Year and being a finalist for the Health Service Journal's Board Leadership Award. We were really proud to be named the 2015 Health Service Journal's Clinical Commissioning Group of the Year Award. In 2016 we were shortlisted for three Health Service Journal Awards including Clinical Commissioning Group of the Year, the Compassionate Patient Care Award and Andy Williams, our Accountable Officer, was awarded highly commended in the category of CEO of the year.
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