Pharmacy, dentistry and optometry commissioning


From 1 April 2023, all Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will have delegated responsibility of NHS England pharmaceutical, ophthalmic and dental (POD) functions.

With general practice commissioning already delegated, this transition will fulfil the ambition of giving local systems (who have responsibility for managing local population health needs as well as tackling inequalities) a broader range of functions, enabling us to work with partners to better design services and pathways of care that better meet local community needs and priorities.

There has been significant work going on across the organisation to support this transfer and to ensure this happens as seamlessly as possible, thank you to everyone involved. The delegation of these services brings both fantastic opportunities for us locally as well as its own unique challenges.

ICBs will have greater flexibility to integrate services across care pathways, ensuring continuity for patients and improved health outcomes for the local population.

Locally, preparations are underway to establish a Collaborative Commissioning Hub with NHS England South West and the seven Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) in the region, including NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB.

Staff working within the Collaborative Commissioning Hub will work with ICB staff to deliver pharmacy, optometry and dentistry commissioning. We are very much looking forward to working with our local providers and welcoming them formally into Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS.

This change is a significant milestone towards the move to a system-based approach to improvement and stronger partnership working as set out in the NHS England operating framework.

For more information, visit the commissioning page on NHS England’s website.