Commissioning

  How the NHS budget has changed over time When the NHS first began back in 1948, it had a budget of £427 million - which, allowing for inflation, is equal to around £15 billion today. However, in the last few decades, this budget has spiralled to around £124 billion. And whilst funding continues to grow, the NHS never seems to have enough funding to cover its huge growth in costs since its inception 70 years ago. The NHS never fails to be top of the priority list whenever there's a general election or a big budget announcement, but despite all the headlines, in reality, few people fully understand how the NHS is really funded, and what on earth politicians mean when they talk about mandate budgets, user changes and growth percentage.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 and replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1st April 2013. With 207 CCGs in England, these clinically-led statutory NHS bodies are responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services in their local area and are responsible for getting the best possible health outcomes for the local population by assessing needs and buying in services from different providers. Or, to put it simply, it's a group of GPs that is responsible for managing and improving the health of their local area. Since their introduction four years ago in 2013, we're taking a look at how CCGs are working and what the future holds;