Responding to the publication of NHS England’s Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2020/21, Julie Wood, chief executive of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said: “We recognise that in response to what has been, by comparison, a generous settlement for the NHS, there is a lot expected of organisations and lots of priorities to deliver on, on top of a very stretched service where patient need and demand continues to be challenging. It is therefore vital for all NHS organisations to be clear about what national priorities are, whether working at system, place or neighbourhood level, and how they can be delivered locally. The guidance in places is quite prescriptive about the expectations of organisations at a time when we are asking those same organisations to be less focussed on themselves and more focussed on working in a collaborative and integrated way across systems, so this will need to be managed carefully. CCGs are likely to have a number of potentially competing priorities that they must invest their money in, and that money cannot be spent twice.
“We do welcome the additional funding for community mental health provision for adults as well as the commitment in the guidance to write-off historic CCG debt subject to certain conditions, which will be welcome for those CCGs who will benefit. Also the aspiration on prevention is absolutely critical, but we recognise that it remains a challenge to ensure programmes such as the NHS population screening is delivered optimally given all the other pressures on local services.”
31 January 2020