A report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee presents a range of recommendations which highlight what is needed for clinical commissioners to successfully deliver the NHS Long Term Plan, including establishing appropriate structures for ICSs and CCGs; ensuring CCGs take account of the needs of local populations as commissioning is undertaken at a larger scale; having clear accountability structures in place as planning and commissioning decisions are made jointly across the organisations within ICSs; and ensuring legislative changes support the delivery of the Plan.
The report draws on oral evidence from NHSCC’s chief executive, Julie Wood, as well as clinical commissioning leaders and senior members of the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.
“The commissioning landscape is undoubtedly evolving but clinical commissioners still have a critical role in transforming health and care for the better. Clinical commissioning groups have already been taking strides to work more efficiently and collaboratively across larger footprints whilst maintaining their links to local populations.
“Although there is a mixed picture of performance, the PAC recommendations helpfully highlight areas of support that CCGs will need as they look to deliver the Long Term Plan, for example, to clarify governance and accountability, support their leaders, and a clear final number of ICSs. It also highlights the importance of getting proposed legislative changes right as they could smooth the path to integration – something we have been saying on behalf of our members for some time.”
8 March 2019