About us

Who we are

The RCGP Centre for Commissioning was launched in December 2010 and exists to equip GPs, practices and Clinical Commissioning Group(s) with the skills, competencies and expertise required to commission effective healthcare.

The partnership between the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the NHS Institute draws on the RCGP’s unique relationship with GPs and others in primary care, its track record for professional education, and the NHS Institute’s experience in supporting the NHS to continually improve.

Working to support Clinical Commissioning Group(s)

In order to provide support to GP Clinical Commissioning Group(s) , from the individual challenges of leadership through to commissioning safe and high quality care for patients, the RCGP Centre for Commissioning is working to develop a range of solutions to support GPs.

Our support offer is designed to respond directly to the priorities and challenges identified by CCGs, and echoes the early themes identified in the authorisation process work, including:

  • developing leadership capacity and capability
  • effective engagement with patients and local communities
  • achieving quality improvement within financial resources
  • building capacity, confidence and capability with responsibilities including financial control
  • working collaboratively with others including CCGs partners, providers, local authorities, third sector and national organisations.

We have worked hard to stay connected and respond to the priorities, challenges and opportunities that CCGs have told us they are experiencing. Our most recent survey at the end of February 2011 involved over 300 GPs and confirmed that the key issues for CCGs include:

  • governance issues, including business start-up and identifying the right organisational form
  • support for the new leadership challenges, both individually and for board development
  • where to start on prioritising commissioning opportunities and understanding local health needs
  • getting service design right, achieving more for less whilst improving safety and quality at the same time
  • undertaking large scale change across the health and social care system
  • engaging patients and the public meaningfully and developing joined-up, seamless care
  • the mechanics of commissioning such as performance and contract oversight.

The NHS Institute has refined its primary care support products for those involved in GP Commissioning. The centre is now working with a first wave of delivery sites to further refine this support before it's made available nationally.

Responding to the core changes proposed within Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS, the development of the centre's offer for CCGs aims to:

  • support their effective establishment
  • enable them to make early progress in building capability and capacity
  • build confidence in carrying out their commissioning responsibilities.

Our support offer seeks to help CCGs leaders understand their scope of responsibilities and general duties around the planning and monitoring of services, including:

  • the drive to improve the quality of health care
  • improving outcomes locally
  • understanding financial duties
  • introducing and understanding effective governance and accountability
  • the specific duties of cooperation contained within the Health and Social Care Bill.

The cornerstone of the offer will enable GPs to change, as well as engaging with their peers and partners to develop a local vision and assume responsibility for the quality and productivity challenge. It captures the importance of the need for commissioners to develop robust insight and demonstrate good understanding of the local healthcare system through engagement of patients and the public.

What makes us different?

Both founding partners of the RCGP Centre for Commissioning have an ethos in line with the NHS. Our approach is:

  • by GPs for GPs - the development of materials has been clinically-led
  • developed in, by and for the NHS
  • tried and tested solutions that support the wider primary care team
  • a national body that is connected and credible
  • strong local presence with RCGP faculties and the NHS Institute’s area network.

Commissioning homepage

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