A new era begins for local services

MAJOR ROLES Chris Dowse and Dr David Kelly, of North Kirklees CCG.
MAJOR ROLES Chris Dowse and Dr David Kelly, of North Kirklees CCG.

Radical changes have been made to the way local NHS services are organised.

NHS Kirklees, the primary care trust which bought services on behalf of patients in our area, has been abolished.

Now the task of buying and designing the majority of health services has been given to North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), a group of 31 GP practices.

It will use its £225m budget to commission community health services, maternity services, planned hospital care, rehabilitation services, urgent and emergency care, and care for people with ongoing health needs.

But the national NHS Commissioning Board will buy some specialist services, such as dental care, community pharmacy and NHS eye tests.

Kirklees Council will also have a greater role to play. It will provide public health services, including stop smoking services, and drug and alcohol misuse services.

Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield Primary Care Trusts chief executive Mike Potts said: “We are confident that there will be a smooth handover of our commissioning and public health responsibilities.

“We have ensured that the new organisations have solid foundations on which to build their health commissioning priorities thanks to the efforts of our staff and partners.”

The changes are the result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and came into force on Monday.