For release: 11.00 am 05 December 2013
Holding the centre to account: Some good signs, but much to do
Last year NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) announced that it would be conducting a local led appraisal of how NHS England is working.
Working together NHS Clinical Commissioners and their CCG members co-produced with NHS England Ways of Working to describe the behaviours they all expected to see exhibited in the emerging relationships between the different parts of the commissioning system.
NHSCC commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a survey of CCG leads across England and the survey report has now been published. The report provides a review of these relationships at a relatively early stage with the findings available to be used to identify best practice and potential improvements in how CCGs and NHS England work together.
Commenting NHSCC President Michael Dixon said
“A locally led appraisal of the central structure of the NHS is something that has never happened before and is possibly the most symbolic evidence available of a shift away from centralism and top-down-control. Our results show that at a local level CCGs and NHS England Area Teams are working together well and are cooperating to get things right. There are clear indications of good working partnerships but it is not yet consistent and it is vital that across NHS England they work hard to bring up all Area Teams to the standard of the best.
For release: 19 November 2013
Regulation cannot guarantee quality – that is for commissioners to do
Responding to the Government’s final report on the Francis and Berwick reports NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) has issued the following statement
NHSCC interim President Michael Dixon said:
“The old system which allowed an outrage such as Mid-Staffs to happen must be consigned history. Blind obedience to the centre cannot deliver patient safety; indeed it will deliver a culture that ensures bullying, lying and gaming of targets.
“The only way of ensuring patient safety and also developing a system which is built on ever increasing quality is to put power in the hands of local clinicians and communities. The logic of the new system established by the Health and Social Care Act is one where clinical commissioners will only commission from providers who are responsive and deliver high quality services for patients.
For release: 13 November 2013
CCGs need to take a leadership role in delivering progress on Urgent and Emergency care
Responding to the publication of Sir Bruce Keogh’s first report on Urgent and Emergency Care Dr Amanda Doyle, Co-Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Leadership Group and Chief Clinical Officer of Blackpool CCG has said:
“Keeping patients out of hospital where possible and those who do not need it away from A&E departments is absolutely central to what CCGs are doing. Sir Bruce’s report is essential reading for CCGs. Whether it is providing better self-care, helping people with urgent care needs to get the right advice in the right place, first time or providing highly responsive urgent care services outside of hospital so people no longer choose to queue in A&E local commissioners are central to developing and delivering the response.
For release: 13 November 2013
NHS Clinical Commissioners responds to new NHS Mandate
In the initial response to the publication of the refreshed Mandate to NHS England, Charles Alessi interim Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners has said:
“The Mandate is an important document setting as it does the overall direction for NHS England. We welcome the fact that the Department of Health have listened to our views and ensured that the refreshed Mandate is closer in approach to last year’s document. The original Mandate in 2012 was positive and gave CCGs the space and headroom they need to make commissioning decisions according to the needs of their local populations.
“Local commissioners are determined to drive forward the transformation of health and care services so that local people have access to high-quality services. They are committed to developing services which are integrated around the needs of patients and which are responsive to the particular requirements of their areas.”
For release: 31 October 2013
Patients are being let down by inflexible and disconnected policies
Gaps in obesity services are preventing some patients accessing surgery.
A lack of local provision is leaving some obese patients unable to access the essential support services they need to control their weight. National commissioning policy based, on a clear clinical consensus, means that before obese patients can be considered for surgery, they should first be given appropriate support to control their weight. However in parts of England these community services, known as tier 3, are currently not available.
Steve Kell, Chair of Bassetlaw CCG and Co-Chair of the NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group has responded to this saying: “We know from many GPs that the specialised commissioning policy for obesity is simply not working. As GPs we want to be able to refer patients for services they need, and which have proven benefit. These services should be available in all areas and we should not be placed in a position where we have to deny patients treatment because of this.
For release: 24 October 2013
The Rules Are Not Your Enemy: NHS Clinical Commissioners Publishes New Briefing for CCGs on Procurement and Competition
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent membership body of CCGs, has today published a new briefing for CCGs and the NHS pulling together the learnings from a round-table on competition and procurement.
Key lessons from The rules are not your enemy: Liberating clinical commissioning through procurement and contracting are that CCGs need to have courage in their strategic ambitions to shape the implementation of the regulations locally to ensure they use the procurement regulations as tools as opposed to being led by their process and perceived risk. The briefing argues there is no better time for clinical commissioning to make bold decisions and really change outcomes for patients and communities.
However, the paper identifies that lack of clarity on the regulation of competition and urges Ministers to legislate if necessary to ensure that commissioners are able to work in the way that the Government intended.
The report is clear that change is needed from Government and regulators to make improvements, so that the commitments made during the passage of the Health and Social Care Act, to place power in the hands of commissioners can be fully realised.
Mandate refresh: new money will be needed to deliver it, NHSCC
NHSCC has responded to the Department of Health’s consultation on the refresh of the Mandate to NHS England.
The response fully endorses the principle of a refresh of the DH Mandate to NHS England to reflect some of the changes in the wider policy environment (most notably the recommendations from the Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and Winterbourne Review). NHSCC recognises the Mandate is a key mechanism in ensuring that commissioners are current and responsive. However it expresses significant concerns that the tone and nature of the current refresh has moved away from the fundamental core values of the original Mandate.
Commenting Dr Charles Alessi, Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners said “The initial original Mandate in 2012 was positive and gave CCGs the space and headroom they need to make commissioning decisions according to the needs of their local populations.
For release: 25 September 2013
Strengthen what we have to best deliver integrated care
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the collective independent membership organisation of the Clinical Commissioning Groups has responded to Labour Secretary of State Andy Burnham’s Conference Speech
Dr Charles Alessi Chair of NHSCC has said: “As GPs we see patients as people and not conditions and as commissioners we see communities with all their differences and needs. As clinical commissioners we are determined to develop and commission the very best innovative services our communities need to ensure the very best outcomes possible.
“Clinical commissioning is already making a difference for patients and communities. With flat-line funding and mounting pressure on providers the NHS faces serious challenges over the coming years. What those developing and planning the delivery of NHS services need is certainly and a period of time free from externally imposed disruption and centrally-driven reorganisation.
For release: 24 July 2013
Local leadership is needed to provide solutions for urgent care
Responding to the publication of the House of Commons Health Committee report on Urgent and emergency services, Dr Steve Kell, Co-Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group and Chair of Bassetlaw CCG said:
“We are delighted that the Health Select Committee has recognised the importance of joint working but we believe that this needs to be led by CCGs.
“CCGs are ideally placed to lead this agenda and are best placed to ensure locally appropriate solutions based on active and positive patient and clinical engagement. CCGs are already delivering successful models of lead contracting across CCG boundaries and where appropriate they would be keen to extend this model more widely. It is right that leadership is taken at a local level to ensure consistency of commissioning for those issues which cross more than one CCG such as ambulance services and NHS 111. However for other matters such as out of hours care CCGs will need to develop very local solutions which are most appropriate for their local situation.
For immediate release: 11 July 2013
NHS Call to Action: Needs local leadership, but will take time
Responding to publication of The NHS belongs to the people a call to action, Dr Steve Kell, Co-Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group has said:
“Today an important debate is starting that could fundamentally change how the NHS is shaped. NHS England has identified the potential for a massive funding gap if we do not change the way the NHS does things.
“This is not about reorganising the structures of the NHS, it is about engaging with the public, their communities and patients to develop news ways of doing things.
“NHSCC and the local commissioners we represent support this. We are pleased that there is a recognition of the importance of clinical commissioning and engagement if we are to meet the challenge.
For release: 26 June 2013
No new money means CCGs must lead locally
Responding to the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review Charles Alessi, interim Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners said:
“The public, patients and their elected representatives need to be aware of the implications of today’s announcement. Given the pressures that public finances face, it is positive the Government have sought to protect NHS funding. We also welcome the Government’s announcement that additional funding will be directed to funding integrated care.
For release: 20 May 2013
Low GP morale will affect commissioning
Dr Steve Kell, Co-Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Leadership Group and Chair of Bassetlaw CCG speaking on behalf of NHS Commissioners has issued a statement in response to growing concerns that recent comments about GPs are having an impact on morale. He said:
“We are hearing growing concerns from our members that at practices across the country workloads are at breaking points and GPs are ready to buckle under the strain.
“There is little doubt that a fire-storm has being whipped up over what is happening in Accident & Emergency Departments, with primary care provision, the GP contract and Out of Hours Care being dragged into the mix.
“NHS Clinical Commissioners role is to speak for local commissioners, but as membership organisations we recognise that the morale of GPs is fundamental to how CCGs can operate…
For release: 02 May 2013
Integration needs to be led locally not driven by top-down finances
Responding to Care Minister, Norman Lambs’ reported comments in the HSJ, Dr Steve Kell, Co-Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Leadership Group and Chair of Bassetlaw CCG has said:
“We welcome the focus on integration and recognition of the need to look beyond the NHS. Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country are focusing on developing integrated care programmes which deliver innovative solutions for their populations. The Minister has been a thoughtful advocate for integration but we would warn him that simply top-slicing CCG allocations and using these to fund social services will not deliver the integration in which he clearly believes.
For release: 26 April 2013
Clinical Commissioning Groups need to grab hold of out of hours care
Commenting on the Secretary of State for Health’s speech yesterday Dr Steve Kell and Dr Amanda Doyle Co-Chairs of NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group have said:
“It is quite clear that Out of Hours care needs to be improved. Professor Steve Field is absolutely right when he says that finding a solution must involve GPs and we would take that one step further and say that what it needs is the direct involvement of local commissioners to find that solution.
“As the current concerns about A&E and the recent issues with NHS 111 clearly show, CCGs are best placed to work within their areas to develop appropriate solutions by specifying and commissioning high quality services.
For release: 15 April 2013
NHSCC: Roll-out of NHS 111 must be halted until system is safe for patients
NHS Clinical Commissioners, the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has issued the following statement said:
The discussions at Friday’s NHS England Board clearly demonstrate the concern regarding 111 within the NHS. Local commissioners have raised concerns about the roll-out of NHS 111 and that top-down imposition has overridden local worries. Local commissioners are keen to ensure that patients have access to high quality, accessible urgent care, and it is clearly not acceptable that patients may be put at risk and their calls may not be answered.
There is an urgent need for issues surrounding 111 to be resolved.
For immediate release: 26 March 2013
CCGs are central to spotting failure and driving up quality
Responding to the Government’s response to the Francis Report, Dr Michael Dixon interim President of NHS Clinical Commissioners, the independent collective voice of CCGs said:
“Clinical Commissioning Groups have the statutory duty to assure the quality of the services they commission for their patients. They play an absolutely central role in helping to identify when things are going wrong and equally important are key in driving up standards in providers.
“It is therefore essential that as the Government and the CQC design the new inspection regime and scope the role of the newly announced Chief Inspector of Hospitals they work closely with Clinical Commissioning Groups.
For release: 25 March 2013
Dr Amanda Doyle and Dr Steve Kell Elected Co-Chairs of NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group
NHS Clinical Commissioners, the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups, is pleased to announce that Dr Amanda Doyle and Dr Steve Kell have today been elected Co-Chairs of the organisation’s Leadership Group. The Group provides the overall direction for NHSCC’s work programme and ensures that the organisation continues to be truly member led and its voice shaped by those leading CCGs
For release: 13.00 14 March 2013
CCGs are ready to take on their responsibilities across England
Commenting on the announcement that all 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups in England have been authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board, Charles Alessi, Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners said:
“It is a real credit to the incredible work that Clinical Commissioning Groups have done to get to this stage. Working to a very tight timetable they have built up their organisations, worked with stakeholders to develop their plans, been through a rigorous authorisation process and are now ready to take on the responsibility for commissioning healthcare for their populations and patients.
For release: 14 March 2013
Openness and transparency are essential to ensure probity
Commenting on the BMJ survey of Conflicts of Interest in CCG Boards, Michael Dixon, President of NHS Clinical Commissioners has said:
“CCGs know that they need to manage any potential conflicts of interest in an open and transparent way and have appropriate polices in place to manage them. There is a range of high quality guidance which has been published to support CCGs in managing potential conflicts of interest.
“As CCGs begin to make decisions about developing new services or providing services in new settings it is essential that they handle any potential conflict with integrity, by ensuring it is identified, declared and managed in an open and transparent way. CCGs need to be free to make the most appropriate decisions to deliver high quality services for their patients and populations and with good planning and governance CCGs should be able ensure the probity of any decisions made.
“While it is right that potential conflicts of interest are identified, they can be managed with appropriate openness and transparency; the fear of perceived conflicts of interest must not become a dead-hand stopping new and innovative service development and the ability of CCGs to deliver services in new settings”.
For release: 21 February 2013
Clinical leaders are stepping up to lead the development of NHS services
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has welcomed the announcement that with some eighty percent of Clinical Commissioning Groups now authorised clinicians are stepping up to lead the NHS into the future says NHSCC interim President Michael Dixon.
Commenting on the announcement of the third wave of authorisations of Clinical Commissioning Groups Dr Dixon said “it is an amazing tribute to the ability of clinicians to lead the development of NHS services in the future that we have reached this stage. Given the timelines and the fact that the Health & Social Care Act was passed less than a year ago, it is extraordinary that clinicians have been able to step up to the mark and got their organisations to this stage in such a short time.”
For immediate release: 06 February 2013
This is our challenge and our responsibility
NHS Clinical Commissioners, the collective independent voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has responded to the publication of Robert Francis’s report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. The Leadership Group of NHS Clinical Commissioners on behalf of NHSCC said:
“The detailed and serious report produced by Robert Francis QC makes uncomfortable reading for anybody who works in the NHS. It is clear that there is a collective responsibility to ensure that failures such as happened at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust do not happen again.
“As the leaders within Clinical Commissioning Groups we recognise that quality is the personal responsibility of all who work in the NHS and we cannot delegate that responsibility to anybody else.
“We will use the levers available to CCGs through the commissioning process, clinical engagement and public involvement to drive up quality. We will also use our relationship through that process with providers to ensure and be assured about quality and outcomes. We will also explore and address unwarranted variation.
For immediate release: 23 January 2013
CCGs are on a journey and its welcome so many are making good progress
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has welcomed the announcement that almost half of all CCGs have now been authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board
Responding, Charles Alessi, Interim Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners said:
“Every Clinical Commissioning Group is on its own unique journey. They all start from a different place and each one faces different challenges with their own local provider landscape, population needs and economic challenges.
“The authorisation process is an important one to verify CCGs are ready to take on their significant responsibilities. CCGs are being established to a very tight timescale and it is to their credit that so many of them are judged ready to take on these responsibilities. While CCGs will be at different places on their journey and will have different development needs it is for the CCG identify the support they need to rectify any concerns identified.
For immediate release: 18 December 2012
It’s a tough year for the NHS and hard decisions will have to be made – NHSCC
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has responded to the publication of the Planning Framework for the NHS.
Charles Alessi, interim Chair of NHSCC said:
It is to be welcomed that all CCGs can expect an increase in allocations in the coming year and that in the first year there is certainty. However, we know that this is going to be a very tough year for the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Groups will need to be making hard decisions as they agree the priorities for their areas. Budgets will still be squeezed as demand increases and CCGs will be working with other commissioners, providers, patients and local authorities as they make tough choices on prioritisation, define the need for changes in service delivery and support transformation and service reconfiguration.
For release: 11 December 2012
Locally Led Clinical Commissioning Has Taken A Major Stride Forward
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has welcomed the authorisation of the first wave of Commissioning Groups. Responding to the news that the first 34 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) have been authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board Chair.
Michael Dixon NHSCC Interim President said:
“Locally led clinical commissioning has today taken a major stride forward. Clinical commissioners are already beginning to tackle issues head on working with their local community’s to develop their own solutions that respond to local needs and patients’ concerns.
For release: 6 December 2012
On-Going Engagement Key to Network Development
NHS Clinical Commissioners and the NHS Commissioning Board have today published a report looking at lesson learnt from a simulation exercise into the workings of Strategic Clinical Networks.
Strategic Clinical Networks (SCN) will be responsible for supporting Commissioners to improve the quality of services and for achieving better outcomes for patient with some of the country’s most significant illnesses. As such they will not have time to evolve how they operate gradually but will need to get up to speed rapidly.
Recognising this, the NHS Commissioning Board along with NHS Clinical Commissioners, the collective independent voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), organised for the testing via a simulation exercise at a very early stage in the development of the new SCN arrangements. At the heart of the Net-Run project was a behavioural simulation designed to help the participants experience and ‘stress-test’ the new SCN arrangements before they went live.
For release: 13 November 2012
NHS Mandate – The Government have listened – now it’s for us all to deliver for patients
Responding to the publication of the NHS Mandate Charles Alessi, Interim Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners (the collective, independent voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups) said “NHS Clinical Commissioners made a number of recommendations to the Government on the contents of the Mandate and we are delighted that they have heard what we had to say. In particular we welcome the Board’s objective to strengthen the local autonomy of clinical commissioning groups and to hold the Board to account for delivering this. Without this the system would not have been able to escape the old style top-down management which has so stifled clinical innovation.
For release: 00.01 Monday 12 November 2012
Locally Led NHS Commissioning Board Appraisal: A Fundamental Rebalancing Of Relationships In The NHS
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) the independent collective voice of Clinical Commissioning Groups has today announced that it will be delivering a locally led appraisal of the NHS Commissioning Board.
Dr Michael Dixon, Interim NHSCC President explained “NHSCC has made it clear that we believe the success of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) in its duty to promote autonomy should be assessed through a CCG led appraisal process. It is essential that CCGs and NHS CB support a co-productive relationship. We firmly believe that working with the Board through a clear and transparent process will enable them respond and develop actions that will continue to support and develop CCGs, clinical commissioners and broader health and social care in their local areas.
05 November 2012
Authorisation conditions must support not neuter CCG development – NHSCC
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) the independent collective voice for Clinical Commissioning Groupshas today expressed concern that through the imposition of authorisation conditions the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) risks fettering the autonomy of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Speaking on behalf of the NHSCC, interim Chair Charles Alessi said “We are concerned how the NHS Commissioning Board may use its powers to impose conditions on CCGs during the authorisation process. At the most severe these allow the Board to remove all of a CCGs functions while others could permit the Board to effectively neuter a CCG by giving central sign off or approval of the CCG’s decisions.
4 October 2012
A new report co-produced by NHS Alliance and NHS Clinical Commissioners seeks to support commissioners as they get to grips with integrated 24/7 urgent care
NHS Alliance and NHS Clinical Commissioners have co-produced a report on urgent care, which supports commissioners as they look to implement effective integrated 24/7 urgent care strategies in their local areas.
The report includes key learnings and discussions taken from two health communities – one in the North West and one in East Kent – that participated in workshops facilitated by the NHS Alliance, and supported by the Department of Health. The workshops aimed to develop understanding of what helps better integration of urgent care, what gets in the way, and what people can do about it.
Download the news release here.
26 September 2012
Mandate must provide real opportunity to empower commissioners and patients
The NHS Commissioning Board mandate provides a real opportunity to change the way care is planned and delivered but it must give commissioners real powers to work in new and innovative ways.
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) says the mandate presents worthy ambitions for putting clinicians and patients at the heart of decision making within the NHS. It says it is a “welcome first start in keeping with the Government’s principles for a devolution in the NHS.”
Download the news release here.
6 September 2012
‘Overwhelming’ number of decisions could prevent CCGs from delivering the best outcomes – NHS Clinical Commissioners
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) has urged the Government to provide CCGs with the time, space and support necessary to make informed decisions about how to deliver the best outcomes for their patients.
NHSCC, the independent collective voice for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), has expressed concern that the raft of decisions currently being taken to establish the new commissioning system is causing distraction and could prevent commissioners from examining the critical issues they need to tackle on behalf of their local communities.
Download the news release here.
5 September 2012
NHS Clinical Commissioners comments on appointment of new health secretary
Charles Alessi, interim chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said:
“We would like to welcome Jeremy Hunt as our new health secretary and look forward to a close and constructive relationship.
“It is essential that we do not lose momentum on the pace of the reforms and it is important that there is a smooth handing over of the baton to avoid this.”
Download the news release here.
8 August 2012
Steering CCGs in the right direction: Helping CCGs to use commissioning support services effectively
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) has today published a report to support Clinical Commissioning Groups in developing effective relationships with Commissioning Support Services.
‘Steering or Rowing? Report from a simulation event which tested how CCGs might utilise CSSs’ outlines the challenges and areas of support these organisations need to consider when working together.
Download the news release here.
Read the full report here.
1 August 2012
NHS Clinical Commissioners comments on publication of NICE COF indicators
Commenting on the publication of the NICE Commissioning Outcome Framework
(COF) indicators, Dr Michael Dixon, interim NHSCC president said:
“These indicators provide a useful framework to allow Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) consider how they can improve the quality of local services and patient outcomes.
“It is important to remember that improving outcomes is not just about the inputs outlined in this framework. It is about looking in the round to consider what is the best action – from public health right through to community services – to improve the health of local communities.
“We can not stress enough how important it is that CCGs are given the time and space to develop bold and innovative ways of improving the quality of care that patients receive and the health of their local populations.
“We need all parts of the commissioning system pulling in the same direction so that we can focus on addressing the big strategic issues associated with planning and coordinating care.”
- ENDS -
NOTES TO EDITORS
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) is a coalition of the NAPC and the NHS Alliance, working in partnership with The NHS Confederation, to establish an independent collective voice for clinical commissioners and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
For further information, please contact email@example.com or call Francesca Reville on 020 7074 3312
21 July 2012
Clinical Commissioning Groups well under way to improve patient care
NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) has today published Clinical Commissioning in Action, which features 12 case studies of how Clinical Commissioning Groups are making a difference to their patients. These demonstrate commitment to clinical engagement and will serve as a springboard for further development of CCGs and maximise their impact on local communities.
Download the news release here.
Read the full report here.
14 June 2012
NAPC, NHS Alliance and NHS Confederation announce new membership service for CCGs
The NAPC, NHS Alliance and the NHS Confederation have announced they are working together to establish a new membership service to provide clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) with a single, strong and independent collective voice.
Download the news release here.