Commissioners are required to be advocates for health and wellbeing, encouraging and enabling individuals, families and communities to take greater and shared responsibility for staying healthy and managing their health and conditions. This means understanding better the what affects health, effective engagement and enablement of people and populations and strengthened partnership working to improve health and wellbeing.
All GPs are involved in commissioning. Every time a GP sees a patient, they decide whether to prescribe medication, refer them to another part of the NHS or admit them to hospital. These decisions are based on the best interests of the patient, the GP’s training, experience and knowledge of hospitals, services and secondary care clinicians, and all of these elements are considered in consultation with the patient.
In determining what the patient needs, GPs involve their patients to agree how NHS resources are to be spent, the care pathway a patient will take, the drugs which are most appropriate and the services which are best suited to their needs.
GPs have always been the coordinator of NHS care, and they are now taking a lead role for commissioning within the NHS. It is important to everyone, patients and clinicians alike, that quality services are commissioned for the local population at a price that the NHS can afford.