NHS planning guidance set welcome intention to continue to integrate, but still some tough times ahead to deliver transformation

Responding to the release of the Refreshing NHS Plans 18/19 NHSCC co-chair Dr Graham Jackson said:

“We all know that this year is going to be incredibly challenging for everyone involved in planning and delivering health and care so it is good to see Refreshing NHS Plans 18/19 maintain the direction of travel towards an integrated system based around a place, as well as adding some much needed money into CCG allocations and the wider system. Our members are clear that integration is the right approach for our patients and for the sustainability of the NHS.

Clinical commissioners have played an important role in transforming healthcare to benefit their patients and populations and will continue to play a critical part of the changing landscape so our members will be pleased to see the recognition that CCGs also needs some dedicated support in the form of additional allocation funding and greater flexibility in the use of the budget locally as the sector wrestles to manage the finances for today while still needing to plan for tomorrow

The introduction of the Commissioner Sustainability Fund reinforces how the whole system is struggling, not just one part of it. We need to see how the detail and criteria of the Fund plays through in reality to CCG plans to deliver change as even with this extra funding it may prove challenging for some areas to achieve the financial balance at the end of 18/19 that NHS England are looking for. It will be critical that NHS England provide support as well as financial resources to ensure delivery of control totals.

Money for health and care is important but there is much more to the transformation agenda than that. Taking a pragmatic approach to some of the constitutional standards is sensible and should hopefully allow some of the unnecessary target based pressures to be taken off the system so it can try to push forward the much needed change to ensure we can continue to provide for patients and our populations for the future.”

2 February 2018