How we fit into the NHS

The structure of the NHS is always changing and it can be confusing knowing which organisation is responsible for which area of health and care.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)

A clinical commissioning group is an 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 and NHS Improvement

NHS England is a national organisation with seven regional teams based across the country. 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

From 1 April 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working together as a new single organisation to better support the NHS to deliver improved care for patients, according to the NHS Long Term Plan.

Find out more about NHS England.

Find out more about NHS Improvement.

Read more about the NHS Long Term Plan.

Local authorities

East Sussex County Council are responsible for commissioning public health services. These services 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.

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

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 will continue to provide a range of information about all health services and common health conditions.

NHS partners in and around East 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.

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.

Find out more about how we work with our partners across the whole of Sussex.