NHS England » Primary care commissioning (2023)

Purposes for processing

NHS England is responsible for commissioning high quality primary care services for the population of England. NHS England’s commissioning policy is to move towards more place based, clinically led commissioning and is sharing or delegating commissioning of primary medical care services to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). NHS England retains responsibility for payment of GPs, Dentists and Opticians. NHS England and delegated CCGS also have responsibility for the assignment of unregistered patients to GP practices, and for the management of list transfers when practices close.

General Practice

GP Payments

NHS England is responsible for paying GP Practices for their services. GP practices are paid on the basis of the number of patients on their list. This is obtained from the registered patient list held by NHS Digital on behalf of NHS England. In addition to this GPs are paid for their performance under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). NHS Digital collects information under directions from NHS England about General Practice (GP) achievement under QOF. This information is used to calculate GP payments for the current financial year, and to set aspiration payments for the following year. NHS Digital run other QOF reporting collections throughout the year, not related to payment. The QOF data is extracted by NHS Digital from GP Practice systems. The data extracted is in the form of numbers for the QOF indicators and does not include personal data.

Disclosures of personal data to NHS England

NHS England may require access to personal data held by GP practices in circumstances described in the Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information: GMS, PMS and APMS Code of Practice. This is established under directions from the Secretary of State for Health. These circumstances are:

  • Where NHS England is investigating and assuring the quality and provision of clinical care, for example in relation to a complaint.
  • Where it is needed in relation to the management of the contract, for example where remedial action, or termination of the contract/agreement is being considered (e.g. because of poor record keeping)
  • Where NHS England considers there is a serious risk to patient health or safety
  • Investigation of potential fraud or any other potential criminal activity

Patient assignments and list transfers

The process from managing patient assignments is described in the Primary Medical Care Policy and Guidance Manual. NHS England or a CCG will receive the names, addresses and other personal details (not health information) of unregistered patients who have requested registration at a GP Practice. NHS England or a delegated CCG will receive the personal details of patients registered at a GP practice that has closed or is due to close in order to offer alternative registration.

Unregistered patients

NHS England is responsible for the manual records of patients who are not currently registered with a GP Practice, and the deceased. These records are held by Primary Care Support England on our behalf.

GP contracts

GP contracts are held in NHS England’s local offices. The contract includes the name of the contract holder(s).

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Community Pharmacy

NHS England is responsible for putting arrangements in place so that drugs and appliances ordered on NHS prescriptions can be supplied to patients. These are known as ‘Pharmaceutical Services’ and are provided by pharmacy contractors (such as retail pharmacy outlets), dispensing appliance contractors, and dispensing doctors (collectively referred to as ‘contractors’ in this section of this privacy notice).

Pharmaceutical lists

In order to provide Pharmaceutical Services, pharmacy and dispensing appliance contractors must first be included in a list for their local area, called a pharmaceutical list, which is managed by NHS England. The management of pharmaceutical lists by NHS England is laid down in the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013.

NHS England will receive personal data and process it as is necessary for the purposes of managing pharmaceutical lists in accordance with the Regulations. In particular, such personal data may:

  • include details about contractors (including directors of a company or partners of a partnership), contractors’ staff, referees, applicants wishing to join the pharmaceutical list, and third parties making submissions on an application;
  • be obtained from the individual to whom it relates (for example, an individual pharmacist applying to join a pharmaceutical list) or from a third party (for example, a company wishing to be included in a pharmaceutical list which provides details about its directors and superintendent pharmacist);
  • be shared with third parties where appropriate (e.g. notification of decisions as required by the Regulations).

Certain individuals involved in providing Community Pharmacy services must submit information about their fitness to practise to NHS England, which may include special categories of personal data and data relating to criminal convictions and offences. This information may also be obtained from or shared with other organisations, such as the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), in accordance with the Regulations. NHS England will use this information to consider whether a person is fit to practise and take action where there are concerns.

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NHS England has a contract with Primary Care Support England (PCSE) to administer applications in relation to the pharmaceutical lists on behalf of NHS England.

Dispensing doctors

Dispensing doctors (GPs who may dispense drugs and appliances directly to patients where certain conditions are met) are included in a separate list managed by NHS England.

Patients may make an application to NHS England to request that their GP provide them with dispensing services. These applications contain the personal data of patients and may also include special categories of personal data. NHS England may obtain and process such personal data for the purposes of determining the application.

Local Pharmaceutical Services

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Some contractors are locally commissioned to provide Local Pharmaceutical Services (LPS) and are included in separate lists managed by NHS England. NHS England may obtain and process personal data for the purposes of managing LPS contractors in a similar manner to that outlined above.

Payment for Community Pharmacy services

Contractors are paid for the number of prescriptions that they dispense. Each month they send their prescriptions to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) who acts on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. These are sent either electronically or by courier for paper documents. A small number of prescriptions are shared with NHS England and other relevant organisations where this is necessary for the purposes of investigating possible prescription errors or fraud. These prescriptions contain the personal data of patients, including special categories of personal data.

Medicines Usage Reviews

This is a service usually provided in a pharmacy to help a patient use their medication more effectively. However, in some cases a pharmacy will need to seek permission from NHS England to provide this service by telephone or in a patient’s own home. This will require the pharmacy to share the patient’s name and address with NHS England.

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Payment of dentists

Dentists are paid by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) acting for the Department of Health and Social Care. NHS England receives service activity figures, which do not include personal data, from NHS BSA for reconciliation and adjustment for under-payments.


A patient may appeal to NHS England about any aspect of their dental care. For example, if a patient is assessed that he or she doesn’t meet criteria for a NHS funded specialist service. The appeal information includes personal details and specific details of clinical condition.


Commissioning contracts for dentists are held in NHS England’s local offices, and these may identify the individual responsible for delivery.


Payment to opticians

Opticians send payment forms to Primary Care Support England. These include patient name, address, date of birth, whether an eye test was done, and the voucher issued. PCSE produces a statement for each optician which is sent to NHS England for payment. These statements do not contain personal data relating to patients.

Annual checklist

NHS England’s local offices employ optometry advisors checking compliance of premises to delivery optical services. Compliance reports include the name of the practice owner.

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Ophthalmic Post Payment Verification Process

Primary Care Support England provide NHS England with a report including name, date of birth and address of patients who have had a test, which is sent to the NHS England local office. The purpose of this is to identify ophthalmic contractor outliers and possible inappropriate claims for payment. Some payment forms and other data about the ophthalmic services you have received may be shared with NHS England and the NHS Business Services Authority where there is a need to investigate possible errors on the forms, payment errors or fraud.


NHS England local offices hold contracts with opticians and information about applicants from new opticians. Application documents include correspondence, references, CVs, disclosure and barring checks and financial information.

Legal basis for processing

For GDPR purposes NHS England’s lawful basis for processing isArticle 6(1)(e) – ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For special categories (health) data the basis isArticle 9(2)(h) – ‘…health or social care…’.


Why do you want to work for the NHS sample answers? ›

Example answer:

I am passionate about quality patient care and, despite the many challenges it faces, believe the NHS to be the best environment in which to truly make a difference to the lives of others.

What does Commissioning mean in the NHS? ›

Commissioning is the process of assessing needs, planning and prioritising, purchasing and monitoring health services, to get the best health outcomes.

How are NHS services commissioned? ›

Services are commissioned by integrated care boards (ICBs) overseen by NHS England on a regional and national basis.

Who commissions primary care in England? ›

NHS England commissions primary care services, for example GPs, dentists and opticians. Although, for GPs (primary medical services) this is delegated to Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).

What are the 7 core values of the NHS? ›

What are the NHS Values?
  • Working together for patients.
  • Respect and dignity.
  • Commitment to quality of care.
  • Compassion.
  • Improving lives.
  • Everyone counts.

How do you answer NHS scenario questions? ›

Be precise and truthful in your answer. If you have had experience, explain the NHS system that you have worked with and the procedures that you have followed. Talk about the 'out-of-hospital' care strategies that the NHS makes you offer and the awareness it gives people over their own health in patient care.

What are the 5 levels of commissioning? ›

  • Level I — Design Phase. Develop detailed and comprehensive commissioning specifications and design critique as it pertains to commissioning.
  • Level II — Construction Phase. ...
  • Level III — Acceptance-Testing Phase. ...
  • Level IV — Integrated System Testing. ...
  • Level V — Warranty Phase.

What are the four major phases of a commissioning process? ›

Mission Critical / Data Center Commissioning Phases
  • Phase 1: Pre-Design. ...
  • Phase 2: Design. ...
  • Phase 3: Construction. ...
  • Phase 4: Occupancy. ...
  • Phase 5: Post-Occupancy.

Is commissioning necessary? ›

Why is Commissioning Important? Commissioning has a significant impact on the built environment which affects all of us in ways we often do not consider. Buildings account for 40% of the total energy usage and more than 30% of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the US.

What is the process of commissioning? ›

The commissioning process is the integrated application of a set of engineering techniques and procedures to check, inspect, and test every operational component of the project—from individual functions such as instruments and equipment, up to more complex entities such as subsystems and systems.

Who is responsible for commissioning healthcare services? ›

CCGs have a statutory responsibility for commissioning most NHS services including urgent and emergency care, acute care, mental health services and community services. Increasingly they are also involved in commissioning primary care and some specialised services (see section on collaborative commissioning below).

What is the commissioning cycle? ›

The Commissioning Cycle

Analysis – After reviewing the current state of play, analysis of needs, policies and resources are done to see where the procurement of new commissioning services is needed and specific outcomes these will bring.

What percentage of NHS funding goes to primary care? ›

Out of day-to-day revenue spending for 2021/22: £71.5bn (37%) was spent on NHS provider staff costs. £32.1bn (17%) was spent on procurement. £14.9bn (8%) was spent on primary care.

What is Care Quality Commission in England? ›

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all health and social care services in England. The commission ensures the quality and safety of care in hospitals, dentists, ambulances, and care homes, and the care given in people's own homes.

Is primary care part of the NHS? ›

Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the 'front door' of the NHS. Primary care includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry (eye health) services.

What are the 5 C's in NHS? ›

The 6 Cs of care
  • Care. Care is our core business and that of our organisations; and the care we deliver helps the individual person and improves the health of the whole community. ...
  • Compassion. ...
  • Competence. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Courage. ...
  • Commitment.

What are the 5 C's in care? ›

According to Roach (1993), who developed the Five Cs (Compassion, Competence, Confidence, Conscience and Commitment), knowledge, skills and experience make caring unique.

What are the 3 founding principles of the NHS? ›

Respect, dignity, compassion and care should be at the core of how patients and staff are treated not only because that is the right thing to do but because patient safety, experience and outcomes are all improved when staff are valued, empowered and supported.

How do I ace my NHS interview? ›

During the interview
  1. Make eye contact with all members of the interview panel. ...
  2. Smile! ...
  3. Be clear and concise in your responses.
  4. Structure your answers with 3 or 4 main points of examples from your own experience.
  5. Do not assume that the panel know the detail of what is in your application form or CV.

What should I say in an NHS interview? ›

NHS Interview Questions asking for an example
  • Tell us about a situation where you worked under pressure.
  • Describe a situation when you dealt with a difficult patient.
  • Tell us about a time when you played a key role in a team.
  • Discuss a situation when you had to ask for a senior help.

How is an NHS interview scored? ›

NHS interview scoring system typically ranges from 0 to 4 with 0 being the lowest and 4 being the highest. If you were to be asked 10 questions at an interview the interview will be scored out of 40.

What is a commissioning checklist? ›

A commissioning checklist is used to ensure the safety and functionality of new or modified systems in a facility. Efficiently validate the performance of HVAC, pumping, piping, and lighting systems using this comprehensive checklist.

What is Level 2 commissioning? ›

Level 2: Site Acceptance Inspection

Once the equipment is on site, it is inspected by the commissioning agent. This is to ensure that the equipment brought to the site meets the end user's specifications before it enters the facility.

What does good commissioning look like? ›

Person-centred and focuses on outcomes - Good commissioning is person-centred and focuses on the outcomes that people say matter most to them. It empowers people to have choice and control in their lives, and over their care and support.

What are the key deliverables of the commissioning process? ›

The key deliverables associated with the commissioning process include:
  • Commissioning Plan.
  • Pre-Functional Construction Checklists.
  • Functional Performance Test Procedures.
  • Issues Logs.
  • Final Commissioning Report.
Jan 1, 2014

What are the goals of commissioning? ›

The primary goal of commissioning is to ensure a building and its systems meet the owner's project requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, the following commissioning goals: To deliver a building or facility that performs according to its design intent and meets the owner's project requirements.

What are the different types of commissioning? ›

Within the construction industry, there are commonly FOUR different types of commissioning that are widely deployed and delivered, depending upon the type of project/building: New Construction Commissioning [NCCx] Re-Commissioning/Ongoing Commissioning [OCx] Retro-Commissioning [RCx]

How long does commissioning take? ›

This could be 24 hours or 30 days for example, dependent on the contract requirements.

Is commissioning part of validation? ›

Commissioning ensures that facilities, systems and equipment are designed and installed as specified and function as intended. Qualification ensures equipment and systems function to produce products correctly. Validation ensures that the final product is built correctly.

What is the value of commissioning? ›

As building systems have become more complex and system integration more necessary, owners are turning to commissioning to ensure that all requirements have been met and are performing as they should. It provides total quality assurance, from design to construction to building acceptance and warranty.

How many levels of commissioning are there? ›

During the Construction Phase, there are also five levels of commissioning that need to be completed. Below, is a brief description on each level. One of the key success factors in factory witness testing is to have a clearly defined test protocol in the purchase specification.

What comes before commissioning? ›

Pre-Commissioning and Mechanical Completion

Handover from the construction team to the commissioning team precedes pre-commissioning, and it is called mechanical completion.

What are some of the roles and responsibilities involved in the commissioning process? ›

They include: Initiating the process, setting the scope of the commissioning process, selecting and/or hiring the CxP, developing Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) for new construction or Current Facility Requirements (CFR) for existing buildings and systems.

Does the NHS commissioning Board still exist? ›

Integrated care boards (ICBs) replaced clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the NHS in England from 1 July 2022.

What is a NHS commissioned independent healthcare provider? ›

Independent sector providers are any providers of NHS services that are not foundation trusts or NHS trusts e.g. charities, social enterprises, private or public limited companies.

What is the role of clinical commissioning groups in England? ›

The CCG is responsible for deciding how best to meet the needs of the population served, commissioning a model of care designed to meet those needs, and deciding what flexibilities the provider(s) of that care should have as to the way in which services are delivered.

What comes first testing or commissioning? ›

Upon completion of static testing, dynamic testing can be undertaken, this is 'commissioning'. Commissioning is carried out to prove that the systems operate and perform to the design intent and specification.

What does final commissioning mean? ›

Final Commissioning means the completion of the commissioning of the [facility] [systems and equipment] under the specified conditions once available, and providing a completed installation that meets the operational requirements specified in the Contract Documents.

Does the NHS have enough funding? ›

The NHS has experienced a decade of underfunding since 2010, despite cash boosts in 2018 and 2019. Between 2009-2019 the NHS budgets rose on average just 1.4% per year, compared to 3.7% average rises since the NHS was established.

Who profits the most in health care? ›

The nation's largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group and Elevance Health, reported profits that were 28 percent and 7 percent higher than the same period last year, respectively. UnitedHealth raked in $5.3 billion, while Elevance took in $1.6 billion.

Who is responsible for most of NHS spending? ›

NHS England is responsible for determining allocations of financial resources to integrated care boards (ICBs) from April 2023. Total annual budgets given to ICBs cover the majority of NHS spending.

What are the 3 values of the CQC? ›

Our values:

Caring – treating everyone with dignity and respect. Integrity – doing the right thing. Teamwork – learning from each other to be the best we can.

Is Care Quality Commission part of NHS? ›

The Care Quality Commission is an ORGANISATION. The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care services in England, whether provided by the NHS, Local Authorities, private companies or voluntary ORGANISATIONS.

What happens if you fail a CQC inspection? ›

Registration is conditional, and failing to comply with conditions without reasonable excuse may lead to criminal prosecution. The CQC has the power to suspend or cancel registration; once notified of such action, it is an offence to provide regulated services.

What are the four pillars of primary health care? ›

Four Cornerstones/Pillars in Primary Health Care
  • Active Community Participation.
  • Intra and Inter-sectoral Linkages.
  • Use of Appropriate Technology.
  • Support mechanism made available.

Is NHS primary or secondary care? ›

National Health Service (NHS) care is provided in two main ways: primary care (GPs and community services) and secondary care (hospitals and specialists). Primary care is the day-to-day healthcare available in every local area and the first place people go when they need health advice or treatment.

What is the difference between NHS primary and secondary care? ›

Primary care is often the first point of contact for people in need of healthcare. It's provided by professionals such as GPs, dentists and pharmacists. Secondary care is services which generally will need a referral from a GP.

Why do you want to work for NHS support worker? ›

Q1. Why do you want to be an NHS Support Worker and what can you bring to the role? SUGGESTED ANSWER: “I want to be an NHS Support Worker because I get immense satisfaction from taking care of people, especially those who are vulnerable.

Why do you want to work in the healthcare field interview answer? ›

Sample answer: "I chose healthcare as a profession because I've always been curious about healthcare and how it impacts people at their most vulnerable times. I want to make healthcare more accessible and convenient for those who truly need it."

What qualities make a good NHS employee? ›

Respect and dignity. Commitment to quality of care. Compassion. Improving lives.

How are NHS interviews scored? ›

Interview panel members will individually complete a scoresheet for each candidate and make any comments. The aggregate score given by all panel members, taking into account any associated weighting, will be the final score of the interview.

How do you demonstrate NHS values examples? ›

We value every person.

For example, we respect their aspirations and commitments, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits. We are honest and open about our point of view and what we can and cannot do.

What happens after NHS interview? ›

Once your interview is over you should hear back from a member of the panel or recruitment team within a week.

How do you know if NHS interview went well? ›

11 Signs your interview went well
  • You were in the interview for longer than expected. ...
  • The interview felt conversational. ...
  • You are told what you would be doing in this role. ...
  • The interviewer seemed engaged. ...
  • You feel sold on the company and the role. ...
  • Your questions are answered in full.

How do I stand out on NHS application? ›

You can include, among other things, details about:
  1. your duties and responsibilities;
  2. your skills, knowledge and/or experience which is relevant to the post;
  3. identify any employment gaps;
  4. voluntary work you have accomplished;
  5. research, publication and/or presentation experience.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers UK? ›

Common interview questions and answers
  • Tell me about yourself. ...
  • How would you describe yourself? ...
  • What makes you unique? ...
  • Why do you want to work here? ...
  • What motivates you? ...
  • How do you handle stress? ...
  • Why are you leaving your current job? ...
  • What are your goals for the future?
Feb 6, 2023

How do you handle difficult patients? ›

How to deal with a difficult patient
  1. Create a suitable environment. ...
  2. Listen carefully. ...
  3. Give an empathetic response. ...
  4. Identify the cause of the problem. ...
  5. Ask for help. ...
  6. Repair the relationship. ...
  7. Maintain professionalism. ...
  8. Use appropriate nonverbal communication.
Oct 18, 2021

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

2. Commit to a Positive Attitude
  1. Decide what you can do. Pinpoint which parts of the situation you have the power to change or influence for the better. ...
  2. Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. ...
  3. Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high.

What is your greatest weakness in healthcare? ›

1. Reflect on your weaknesses
  • Spending too much time on paperwork.
  • Paying too much attention to detail.
  • Attempting to complete too many tasks at once.
  • A lack of clinical experience, which may apply to recent graduates or new nurses.
  • Not being familiar with recent software updates.
  • Being too self-critical.
5 days ago

What are the 4 pillars of NHS? ›

A leader is made up of the other four pillars of National Honor Society: service, character, scholarship and citizenship.


1. NHS Commissioning Assembly
(NHS England )
2. What is Primary Health Care Commissioning?
3. Primary Care Commissioning Committee Meeting
(Your Health and Care Doncaster)
4. Primary Care Networks Animation
(NHS England )
5. NHS Vale of York Primary Care Commissioning Committee
(York Health and Care Partnership)
6. NHS Vale of York Primary Care Commissioning Committee
(York Health and Care Partnership)


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