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Clarification of the role of clinical commissioning groups

2 May 2014

Judgment was handed down today in JF v NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group which considered the role of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) under s3 NHS Act 2006.

The claimant argued that when a person who has been assessed by the CCG as requiring NHS Continuing Healthcare whilst in the community is admitted to hospital, the CCG has a statutory duty to assess that individual’s needs when in hospital. The CCG asserted and the Court agreed that the CCG had discharged its s3 duty by commissioning hospital care. It was for the hospital, using their expertise, to assess what care was required during the admission.

The decision confirms that the question for the CCG was whether the hospital could adequately meet the needs of the claimant and not, as the claimant alleged, to undertake its own assessment of her needs in hospital. The decision will assist CCGs in defending attempts by claimants to fix them with legal responsibilities that are properly the province of the provider.

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