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Frequently asked questions 

We hope you will find the answer to your question below, if not, please contact us.

What is NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)?

NHS Ashford CCG is a statutory NHS organisation made up of general practices (doctors’ surgeries).  

What does NHS Ashford CCG do?

We are responsible for commissioning (buying and planning) the majority of healthcare services for patients in the area. This includes:

  • Urgent and emergency care (including 111, Accident & Emergency and ambulance services)
  • Out-of-hours GP services
  • Planned hospital care (operations and other treatments that can be planned in advance)
  • Community health services (such as community nurses, speech and language therapy, continence services, wheelchair services, and home oxygen services)
  • Rehabilitation services (for example, physiotherapy after an accident or stroke)
  •  Maternity and newborn services (excluding neonatal intensive care)
  • Children’s healthcare services (mental and physical health)
  • Services for people with learning disabilities
  • Mental health services (including psychological therapies)
  • Infertility services
  • Continuing healthcare
  • Medication

We do not have responsibility for health improvement services (such as sexual health, stop smoking services or healthy weight services) or commissioning primary care (GP surgeries, dentists, pharmacies and optometrists) or specialised health services.

We do work very closely with the local hospitals, the Public Health team (based at Kent County Council), Ashford Borough Council and Public Health England to coordinate and ‘join up’ the work we all do for local residents.

Who is part of NHS Ashford CCG?

All 15 GP practices in the Ashford area are part of the CCG. The CCG is ‘run’ on behalf of the GP practices by a governing body that includes elected GPs, members of the public, a nurse, a hospital doctor clinicians and health managers.

What do the people on the governing body do?

The people on the governing body are responsible to the GP practices for doing a good job of planning the healthcare services Ashford patients require, securing the most appropriate services and checking that they are delivered well.

The governing body is made up of 15 people who have special areas of expertise and a firm knowledge of the health needs of Ashford. They are:

Clinical Chairman: The GP who leads the governing body and makes sure the governing body carries out its duties and responsibilities as outlined in the CCG’s constitution.

Clinical leads: GPs who take the lead on specialist areas, including urgent care, children, young people and maternity, planned (surgical) care, planned (medical) care, long-term conditions and end-of life care.

Lay members: Representatives from the community, providing independent expertise and an outsider perspective on the running of the CCG. One has particular experience and knowledge of and responsibility for patient participation and engagement, the other, of governance arrangements (audit, remuneration and managing conflict of interests).

Accountable Officer: The person who has statutory responsibility for making sure that the CCG carries out its duties and responsibilities to local residents. These includes things like making improvements to the quality of services and making sure NHS Ashford CCG provides best value for money.

Chief Finance Officer: Person with responsibility for supervising financial control and accounting of the CCG.

Chief Operating Officer: Person with responsibility for making sure Ashford CCG improves the health of the local population.

Hospital Doctor: An experienced senior doctor who brings a broader view on health and care issues to underpin the work of the CCG.

Chief Nurse: A registered nurse who brings a broader view on health and care issues to underpin the work of the CCG, especially from the patient care and quality perspective.

For further information on the different roles and people who sit on the NHS Ashford CCG governing body, take a look at the governing body page of the website.

 Is Ashford the only area to have a CCG?

No. CCGs are in place across the UK to deliver tailored healthcare services to their local communities. In Kent and Medway, there are eight CCGs:  

When was NHS Ashford CCG set up?

NHS Ashford CCG was created in 2012 and, like all other CCGs across the country, became fully operational on 1 April 2013.

Who does NHS Ashford CCG report to?

NHS Ashford CCG reports into (and works closely with) the Area Team of NHS England. The CCG is also part of Kent’s health and wellbeing board, run by Kent County Council, where different organisations come together to agree the strategy and priorities for health and social care services in Kent. Question: How much money does NHS Ashford CCG have to run these services?

NHS Ashford CCG has a budget of £130 million for 2013/2014 to deliver healthcare services.

How do local hospitals, like the William Harvey Hospital, fit in to all of this?

NHS Ashford CCG pays for any services East Kent hospitals carry out for Ashford people. We work very closely with the local hospitals and where necessary help re-design services to improve the way they are delivered to patients. 

Will I see any changes to the way healthcare services are provided in Ashford?

Over the next few years you will hopefully see improvements to the way healthcare services are provided in Ashford as we are now able to tailor services to the exact needs of the local community.

Ashford patients are at the heart of our decisions and we believe it is very important that we strive to provide the best healthcare service possible. We are committed to improving the health and well-being of the population of Ashford.

Can I have a say in how Ashford’s healthcare services are delivered and how can I get involved?

Yes. We really welcome and value patients providing feedback and suggestions. There are a number of ways you can get involved, including joining the Ashford Health Network, attending public meetings or taking part in consultations.

For further information, take a look at the Get Involved section of the website.

What should I do if I am unhappy with a healthcare service I have received in Ashford?

Your feedback, good or bad, is an essential part of making sure everyone can get the best healthcare service possible. Please feedback to the organisation which provided the service. If you are not happy with the service that has been commissioned by the CCG, please contact us  to let us know.

EI, QIPP… there are a lot of acronyms I don’t understand. How can I find out what the acronyms stand for?

When we use acronyms we always try to make sure the first reference is written in full (the ones above stand for Early Intervention and Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention, by the way). If we happen to miss one, the acronym buster on the NHS Confederation website is a helpful tool. Alternatively, contact us and we will do our best to explain.