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Joining together to boost care

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The landscape of the NHS is in the midst of radical change. From April this year, 211 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will become statutory bodies in England, assuming responsibility for a health budget of £60 billion.

CCGs have been operating in shadow form since April 2012 and are being authorised in four waves by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB); the first two waves have now been completed and decisions on authorisation of all groups will be made by March this year.

These clinically-led organisations will commission the majority of local health services and it is of paramount importance that nurses are involved; after all, primary care and community nurses deliver many core services and play a key role in highlighting the needs of patients ensuring services meet patients' needs.

However, with many commissioning groups still to appoint nurses to their boards (including some of those authorised in the first two waves, with conditions; hence the flurry of CCG adverts in the nursing press), nurses may feel they are being left out of decisions about services, leading to feelings of demotivation. Nurses may feel that they lack a place in the 'new world' of the NHS.

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