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The NHS and how we fit

The way the NHS is changing - find out more on how we fit in the wider NHS, what is happening locally to reform the NHS, clustering arrangements in Sussex, and the role of GP commissioning.

Working together to improve health and wellbeing

NHS West Sussex is the primary care trust for West Sussex and is part of NHS Sussex.

The Coalition Government announced a number of reforms to the NHS in its White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, which was published in July 2010.

As part of these reforms, primary care trusts (PCTs) would be abolished and the majority of their functions would be passed to clinical commissioning groups.

In January 2011, Sir David Nicholson, the chief executive of the NHS, announced the establishment of PCT clusters.

This was designed to maintain and promote capacity and capability within PCTs during the transition to GP-led commissioning consortia.

Sussex cluster arrangements

The four PCTs in Sussex are operating on a cluster arrangement as NHS Sussex. They are:

  • NHS West Sussex

  • NHS Hastings and Rother

  • NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald

  • NHS Brighton and Hove

Each PCT will retain its local accountability for delivering its annual operating plan, but will share an executive team.

The role of Primary Care Trusts in the NHS

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are currently responsible for deciding what health services their local communities need and receive about 80% of the total NHS budget.

There are 152 Primary Care Trusts in England. Find out more about Primary Care Trusts (NHS Choices website).

The Department of Health controls the NHS. The Secretary of State for Health is the head of the Department of Health and reports to the Prime Minister.

The Department of Health controls England’s 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), which oversee all NHS activities in England. In turn, Strategic Health Authorities supervise NHS trusts in their area, including Primary Care Trusts such as NHS West Sussex. The Strategic Health Authority that we report to is NHS South East Coast.

Find out more about the NHS, including different types of NHS trusts (NHS Choices website).