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Feature BMJ Group Improving Health Awards

Clinical commissioning teams: pathfinders in shaping local health services

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 13 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2678
  1. Sophie Arie, freelance journalist
  1. mail{at}

Sophie Arie introduces the shortlist in a new BMJ Group award that is designed to spot potential in emerging commissioning teams

In 2010, the government announced that general practitioners would take over commissioning health and care services in England. The idea was that GPs are best placed to design care that is more suited to the needs of patients. GPs will work with nurses, secondary care doctors, patients, local authorities, and local communities to shape local health services across wide areas spanning, in some cases, several local authority areas.

The big change is set to take place in April 2013 and in 2011 the first “pathfinder” clinical commissioning groups began working alongside primary care trusts, which have done this work until now. They are testing the possibilities of the new model and some are already showing results.

Clinical commissioning team of the year is a new award designed to spot, in these early days, the group that best demonstrates the potential of these …

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