Over the Christmas break we are bringing you a round-up of key topics from our commissioning, innovation and efficiency, and leadership channels.

In this focus on commissioning resources we highlight a selection of best practice articles from 2012. Among them, Phil Kenmore explores how clinical commissioning group leaders are evolving to match their unique local health “ecosystems”, Penny Newman explains why a more serious approach to medical leadership is needed in the new era of GP-led CCGs, and Mark Hayes looks at the gaps commissioners will need to close to build a sustainable NHS.

Illustration of variety in CCG

Go fishing for the best variety of CCG for you

Fish for the best variety of CCG

Local variation means that there is also no single “right” model of leadership for CCGs, says Phil Kenmore.

Sustainable GP leadership for commissioning

A more thoughtful and serious approach to medical leadership is needed in the new era of GP-led CCGs. We explain the five criteria that impede and enable sustainable GP management, with Penny Newman.

Primary care should not be on CCGs’ backburner

The benefits of reform will be maximised if CCGs and local area teams are allowed to work together on commissioning GP services, argues Paul Cook.

Closing the gap between the theory and real change

To build a sustainable NHS we can no longer ignore the gaps separating the theory of change and improvement and its real implementation, writes Mark Hayes.

Supporting CCGs in patient engagement

Collaboration between CCGs and academic institutions can help CCGs maintain the patient and public involvement required by the reformed health sector, says Grete Smith.

How do we define fair in commissioning?

The questions raised by Monitor’s “fair playing field” review are enough to show it is timely, according to Tim Winn.