How we fit into the NHS

There have been significant changes to the structure of the NHS and a number of organisations have specific healthcare roles.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)

A clinical commissioning group is a new NHS organisation that brings together local GPs and experienced health professionals to take on commissioning responsibilities for local health services.

As commissioners of local health services, a CCG is responsible for planning the right services to meet the needs of local people, buying local health services including community health care and hospital services, and checking that the services are delivering the best possible care and treatment for those who need them.

Find out more about what a CCG does.

NHS England

This is a new, national organisation which has an ‘area team’ covering Surrey and Sussex. Their role is to deliver the Department of Health’s ambitions for the NHS by working with commissioners and providers of services across the country. They will also directly commission:

  • GP practices
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Optometrists
  • Specialised services such as HIV care or heart transplants

Find out more about NHS England.

Local authorities

Under the changes, West Sussex County Council has become responsible for commissioning public health services. These are services which help you live healthier lives and help prevent ill health. There are a wide range of these but examples include:

  • Heath improvement work such as stop smoking services or weight management services
  • School nursing
  • Sexual health services
  • Drug and alcohol support services

Visit the county council's website to find out more.

Public Health England

This is a national body works closely with local authorities’ public health teams, carrying out a range of activities to protect and improve the health of everyone living in the country. Their work includes:

  • Co-ordinating work to combat infectious diseases such as flu
  • Co-ordinating work to combat infections acquired in hospitals such as MRSA
  • Deliver national publicity campaigns to prevent ill health

National websites such as NHS Choices ( will continue to provide a range of information about all health services and common health conditions.

NHS partners in and around West Sussex

To make sure there are the right services in place for local people we work closely with a range of local NHS providers, including local hospitals and community services.

You may need to speak to them directly or like to find out more about the trusts specifically and what they do.

Our partners in the local authorities

In West Sussex there is one unitary authority (West Sussex County Council) which is responsible for commissioning and providing social care.

There are also district and borough councils which are working closely with the local NHS to promote health and wellbeing services in their local areas.

You can find out more from the councils directly:

If you have any specific questions or concerns about individual services you can contact the organisation responsible directly, or contact us for advice and support.