All the new Commissioning Groups in the South West

I was asked by a local charity whether I had details of all of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the south west and which LINk and PCT related to which CCG. The CCGs are the groups that are taking over responsibility for health commissioning as part of the ‘NHS Reforms’. (See my post here for a nice simple explanation of the reforms.)

Well I rummaged through the piles of paper on my desk but I couldn’t find all the information in one place, so I’ve put it together in a spreadsheet for you:

LINks and CCGs in the south west

LINks and CCGs in the south west

It’s worth remembering that the LINk that covers any area will also be the same as the Local Authority (council) that covers the area. That’s useful because of course, the Local Authorities host the Health & Wellbeing Boards, which are another part of the new landscape.

CCGs (and PCTs) in the south west all mapped nicely:

This is a useful picture which is handy for the wall in the office. It shows all the PCT “Clusters” (i.e. the ‘merged’ PCTs which cover larger areas, which are merging to save on resources i.e. staff as everything is handed over the new CCGs) and how they relate (in terms of areas that they cover) to the new CCGs. It is Quite Interesting and if you work in this area, you should jolly well know all about it (click for a larger image):

CCGs and 'Cluster' PCTs in the south west

CCGs and ‘Cluster’ PCTs in the south west

The Devon Picture:

The situation in some areas is nice and simple. For example, in Somerset, we have one PCT (which has ‘clustered with itself’ – don’t ask), one local authority (i.e. council), one Clinical Commissioning Group and one LINk.  See how smug and sensible we are?

However, in other areas, such as Devon, you have a bit of a spaghetti of clustered PCTs and CCGs and LINks drunkenly sprawled all over each other with no apparent coherence or co-terminosity whatsoever.  Caroline at the Devon LINk sent me this handy PDF which explains the Devon situation in five maps, so if you are a Devon person, you might like to study these maps so that you can attempt to give yourself a migraine memorising the whole thing:

The new health landscape in Devon

The new health landscape in Devon

What to do with this data:

  • Print it out and stick it on the wall: It’s colourful and USEFUL. Hoorah.
  • Read it: This is all useful background information, to give you a flavour of how the new NHS landscape is shaping up in the south west.
  • Use the contact details: If you need to plan any work across the south west, these contact details should come in handy.
  • Tell me if I’m wrong or send me more information:Let me know if you have any useful maps of your area, or indeed if Devon is actually really simple and I’m just a bit dim.

P.S. Thanks to Mark Woodcock at the Strategic Health Authority for helping me find some of this data!


The LINks Exchange

The LINks Exchange ( was set up around 2008 to be a website forum where people interested in all things LINKs-y could post questions and share best practice.

You need to register in order to use the site, and it takes a day or two to have your registration confirmed.

The site isn’t used a great deal – perhaps half a dozen posts a week are added. Mostly these are occasional questions from LINk participants or host staff. Occasionally the Department of Health will post some relevant information or ask for views.

The site isn’t actively maintained, which is a shame, as obvious improvements can’t be carried out which would make the site more user-friendly – it can be a little tricky to click around all the forums in order to see what new stuff has been added. New stuff can sneak on without you noticing.

What to do with this data:
It’s worth joining the LINks Exchange so that you don’t miss anything that might be posted – particularly new information relating to Healthwatch. It’s the most likely place that the Department of Health will publish things in order to get them out into LINk-land. If important stuff is posted then the LINks Exchange will send out an email alert to all registered users.

(N.B.  I expect that the time is coming when a Community of Practice for Healthwatch or Local Healthwatch will be more suitable, but you need three facilitators to set this up. If you fancy starting this, get in touch.)

Department of Health Evaluation of LINks

>> Department of Health Evaluation of LINks

On 29th December 2010 the Department of Health released it’s ‘evaluation’ of LINks, which was based on all of the previous years’ LINk’s Annual Reports that it could get its paws on.

This report resulted in the following two articles in the Health Service Journal, which I think are both worth a read (if you are a subscriber! If not, contact me and I’ll send them to you):

What to do with this data:

The DH evaluation contains some nice summaries giving the ‘England average’ of LINks for things like membership, reports, Enter & View visits etc. This might be useful information when compiling your own reports e.g. “Our membership currently stands at 700, which is 80% more than the average LINk according to blah blah”.

There are also some nice case studies which really don’t show any tangible service changes but are nicely worded to reflect the LINk’s input in a positive way. This is encouraging as it shows that the work of the LINk is recognised even when a measurable outcome might not be easy to pin down. It also gives some good ideas for wording our own case studies for our annual reports.