There were 135 CCGs across England in 2020/21 and following a further series of mergers there are now 106 in operation. Their purpose is to commission most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible.
Commissioning involves deciding what services are needed for diverse local populations, and ensuring that they are provided.
CCGs are assured by NHS England, which retains responsibility for commissioning primary care services such as GP and dental services, as well as some specialised hospital services. Many GP services are now co-commissioned with CCGs.
NHS trusts provide hospital care to people in England. These can be acute trusts, ambulance trusts, mental health trusts or community trusts. There are currently 54 mental health trusts in England.
There are currently 42 STPs covering all of England. These partnerships involve local NHS organisations and councils drawing up shared proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve. They were created to bring local health and care leaders together to plan around the long-term needs of local communities.
In some area, STPs have evolved to become integrated care systems (ICS), a new form of even closer collaboration between the NHS and local councils. The NHS Long Term Plan set out the aim that every part of England will be covered by an integrated care system by 2021, replacing STPs.
NHS England-Improvement currently work across seven regions, covering healthcare commissioning and delivery, and providing advice on professional leadership on finance, nursing, medical, specialised commissioning, patients and information, human resources, organisational development, assurance and delivery.
These regions are: East of England; Midlands; London; North East & Yorkshire; North West; South East; and South West.