Resources for CCGs


Resources for CCGs are part of the CCG Learning Network which provides online support, resources and information for proposed clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Guidance published to support local transformation plans and new standard for community eating disorder services

Guidance has been published to support improvements in children and young people’s mental health, in line with ‘Future in Mind’. The work aims to build accessible, evidence-based, outcome-focussed services in collaboration with children, young people and families.

Transformation Plan Guidance provides information on the development of Local Transformation Plans for CCGs working with children, young people and families, and commissioning partners and providers as well as CCG funding allocations.

Eating Disorder Guidance, a joint publication with National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH), is a ‘how to’ guide for commissioners to support the implementation of dedicated community eating disorder services for children and young people with an access and waiting time standard. Along with the guidance, NCCMH created a workforce calculator to assist commissioners and providers to work together to establish the correct mix of skills and staff required for a dedicated community-based eating disorder team.

Guidance on new mental health access & waiting time standards published

NHS England has published guidance for how new access and waiting time standards for mental health services are to be introduced in 2015/16 across services for first episode psychosis, IAPT for common mental health conditions, and liaison mental health services in acute trust settings.

The guidance builds on the joint planning guidance published in December and explains the case for change in four key areas, setting out the expectations of local commissioners for delivery, working with providers and other partners.

Improvements towards meeting the first standards will come into effect from 1 April 2015 for achievement by 1 April 2016.

To support commissioners to plan in readiness for the new IAPT waiting times standards, we have published implementation guidance which includes further operational information and frequently asked questions.

New commissioning tools published for transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Two new resources to support commissioning effective, seamless transitional mental health services for young people have been published.

The new Model Specification for Transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (Model Specification for Transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)  builds on previous specifications and can be adapted locally to reflect the multi-agency nature of commissioning and delivering these services.

A sample transition discharge from and transfer of care protocol (also available in MS Word) has also been developed that can be inserted into the NHS Standard contract to help improve support for young people leaving CAMHS.

Both tools are based on a range of quality standards and best practice and are non-mandatory.

Model Specification for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

The Model Specification for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: Targeted and Specialist levels (Tiers 2/3) is the original full version published by NHS England.  A Word version of the model specification is also available for commissioners to use when developing their own specification for their local area – commissioners may amend and insert detail where appropriate. Once changes have been made, that specification should be attributed to the specific commissioner/local area, not NHS England overall.

New framework for responding to CQC inspections of GP practices

CQC have begun to inspect and rate every GP practice in England. Practices will be rated in one of four categories; ‘outstanding’; ‘good’; ‘requires improvement’; or ‘inadequate’.  A new guidance framework has been developed to ensure that there is a consistent approach for CCGs, area teams and CQC to work together before, during and after inspections and for responding to instances where practices are rated inadequate.

In such instances, teams and CCGs should be working with practices to ensure there are clear and transparent improvement plans in place and consider appropriate interventions if services to patients are at risk. This framework describes how teams and CCGs should:

  • collaborate with CQC to ensure ongoing monitoring and surveillance of contracts, prior to and during practice inspections to share intelligence.
  • support practices rated inadequate in one of the key domains or population groups by putting in place an improvement plan and signpost to external support to ensure sustained measurable improvement.
  • oversee progress against improvement plans and take further contractual action if there is no demonstrable improvement.

Directory of development support for commissioning organisations

The Directory of development support is a searchable, online tool for CCGs and other commissioning organisations with hundreds of offers aligned to specific development needs. Users can search by specific development needs to access a variety of real tangible help such as facilitative support, expert advice, skills transfer, networking opportunities and recommendations for improvement from across the market.   

The directory will be updated by supplier organisations on an ongoing basis to reflect new and changing development needs. For queries or feedback on the directory please contact

Mapping the market – Commissioning support services

Mapping the market charts some of the CSU and Independent sector commissioning support market; including some of the significant changes which are already taking place as the market for CSS evolves. There is a tangible sense of momentum and improvement. It is a useful read to understand some of the products and services available to commissioners and CCGs.

Mapping the Market Volume II charts parts of the VSO and SME sectors.

Overall resources

Developed in response to CCGs’ expressed needs, the Learning Environment is a fully-searchable online platform which brings together five key tools to support commissioning organisations in their development journey. The tools are:

  • The Directory which brings together hundreds of tangible offers of development and commissioning support from across the market
  • The Pinboard which contains a number of case studies showcasing successful and innovative commissioning practice
  • Find CCGs like mine is a useful tool which allows CCGs to discover other CCGs most similar to them

The following tools can be accessed through a log in:

  • The Learning Exchange is a tool which allows CCGs to offer support to other CCGs across a wide variety of development areas
  • NHS Community England is a safe space for commissioners to raise discussions, forums and groups

CCG authorisation

CCG configuration

CCG development

CCG Organisation Development

A range of Organisation Development (OD) resources are now available (below) to CCGs. This work has been led by members of an OD project group that was established last autumn under the work programme of the Commissioning Assembly CCG development working group.

CCG engagement

CCG finance

Allocation of resources 2015/16

Allocations publication letter

Running cost allowances

CCG governance

The following resources have been provided to help emerging clinical commissioning groups as they work towards becoming established. They should be read in conjunction with Towards establishment: Creating responsive and accountable clinical commissioning groups published in February 2012.

The resources, which are optional, are designed to be flexible and to be tailored for local use.  CCGs may choose to use all or certain aspects of each resource or create their own.

CCG outcomes

Clinical data sets

Commissioning intelligence

Commissioning support

National Business Continuity

The NHS 111 National Business Continuity Escalation Policy sets out the policy and process for the deployment of national business continuity. It outlines how and when the service should be activated and how this is governed.

Complaints handling



Health and wellbeing boards / Working with your local authority

Human resources

Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) – CCGs peer support available to share good practice and increase service capacity

To support the drive to deliver planned ambitions for IAPT access and recovery rates, 21 CCGs have been identified as areas of good practice in the delivery of IAPT services and commissioning practice.  These CCGs are available to offer ad hoc peer advice and support to help the successful delivery of implementation plans in Quarter 4.

Provision of increased online IAPT service capacity, building on current provider contract arrangements, is also being investigated.  WebExs are being organised to explore this and all CCGs are encouraged to take part. For details contact

See the IAPT website for more information.

Information governance

Managing conflicts of interest

The Health and Social Care Act sets out clear requirements of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to make arrangements for managing conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest, to ensure they do not affect or appear to affect the integrity of the CCG’s decision making processes.

The Managing Conflicts of Interest guidance (December 2014), replaces previous guidance published in March 2013. It strengthens the previous guidance in recognition that primary care co-commissioning is likely to increase the range and frequency of real and perceived conflicts of interest, especially for delegated arrangements. The guidance has been developed in partnership with NHS Clinical Commissioners.

NHS standard contract

Patient and public engagement

Patient Safety Guidance


Primary care commissioning

Primary medical care functions delegated to CCGs

NHS England has the power to direct a CCG to exercise any of its functions relating to the provision of primary medical care services. This guidance sets out the arrangements for CCGs to commission out-of-hours primary medical services for their area.

Procurement of healthcare (clinical) services: Briefings for CCGs

Working with CCGs and others, NHS England has developed procurement briefings for CCGs that summarise the key elements of legislation and guidance governing NHS procurement of healthcare services. These briefings also provide an overview of the different approaches that CCGs may adopt and outlines some of the key considerations when undertaking procurement.

The briefing papers cover:

Quality premium




CCG learning network:

Directory | Maps | News | Resources for CCGs | Bulletins | Blogs | Good practice | CCG Learning Network events

The GP IT Operating Model 2014

NHS England published the GP IT Operating Model in March/April 2014, building on and updating Securing Excellence in GP IT first published in December 2012. The model and supporting materials describe the operating and financial arrangements for the delivery of world-class IT in GP practice. CCGs will be at the forefront of managing the funding, ensuring there is flexibility at practice and local level set around a core national IT offer. Find out more on the ‘Information technology in primary care’ page.

Reducing pharmaceutical waste


  1. Janette Shaw says:

    It would be really helpful to have the contact details and email addresses of the new Local Area Team Directors. Is this facility available?

  2. Marie Chappell says:

    Further to my question posted on 24th Jan regarding NHSCB membership of Adult Safeguarding Boards and your response, we have had a further discussion about the Local Area Team being represented. Are you still of the opinion that our local CCG should make the approach to the LAT rather than a member of the Safeguarding Board?


    • Simon@NHS CB says:

      Hi Marie
      Thank you for your email. If would you like area team representation, a member of the Safeguarding Board can contact your local area team to facilitate this.

      Kind regards

      Digital Communications Officer
      NHS Commissioning Board

  3. Damien kay says:


    Pls can you confirm that the require title for ccg accountable officers are as follows:

    Chief officer (manager appointment)
    Chief clinical officer (clinical appointment)

    As I understand it the words accountable officer don’t feature in either role title.



    • Simon@NHS CB says:

      Hi Damien
      Thank you for your comment. The accountable officer is a role on the governing body, the same as Chair or chief financial officer. You find full details of the key roles in a CCG leadership team in section 7 (pp 21/22) of the document FAQS for Towards Establishment.

      Kind regards

  4. marie Chappell says:

    I refer to the document “Arrangements to secure children’s and adult safeguarding in the future NHS: the new accountability and assurance framework – interim adive.”

    The East Riding of YorkshireSafeguarding Adult Board met yesterday 23rd Jun 2013 and discussed how we now secure NHSCB representation on the Board, and who this will be.
    The document states……”the NHS CB will have a statutory duty to be members of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) and Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs)…..”

    Please can you inform me how I should go about securing NHS CB membership on the Board, who this will be and the most appropriate method of liaising with them?


    • Simon@NHS CB says:

      Hi Marie
      Thank you for your comment. This will be done through local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), so you will need to contact your local CCG directly. You can use our CCG maps to find your local clinical commissioning group.

      Kind regards

      Digital Communications Officer
      NHS Commissioning Board

  5. Simon@NHS CB says:

    Thank you for your comments. The number of staff may change again as our design work continues, however, we can confirm that staffing costs under the reformed system will still be dramatically lower than under the previous system. Even taking into account the other new national support bodies, the number of very senior managers across the NHS will be around half the number we had under the old system of PCTs and SHAs.

    In 2008, before PCTs and SHAs clustered in preparation for the reforms, there were a total of 972 VSMs in PCTs and SHAs: more than double the number expected in the reformed system, at a cost of around £88 million. Earlier this year, there were 682 VSMs across clustered PCTs and SHAs: more than one and a half times the number expected in the reformed system, at a cost of around £64 million.

    Altogether, the DH estimated last year that there will be approximately 328 VSMs across all arm’s length bodies, however, this figure is likely to change as the new ALBs finalise their organisational structures. The NHS CB has 222 very senior manager (VSM) posts across its national, regional and area teams, 37 of whom have clinical roles, along with a further 68 clinical posts on medical and dental terms.

    Kind regards

    Digital Communications Officer
    NHS Commissioning Board

    • Michael Hunt says:

      Would you be able to provide any details of how you got to the 50% in the statement you previously made “…“The development of the NHS Commissioning Board will result in approximately 50% less spent on running costs ..”.

      Please confirm if your figures include running costs of CCGs, CSU and NHSCB for a true comparison.


      • Simon@NHS CB says:

        Hi Michael
        Thank you for your comment. The calculations do include the running costs of the NHS Commissioning Board, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and commissioning support units (CSUs).

        CSUs will be commissioned by CCGs and the NHS CB to provide administration and other ancillary services. CCGs and the NHS CB will use their running costs allowances to pay for these services whilst ensuring that total running costs are contained within the total running cost allowance.

        Kind regards

        Digital Communications Officer
        NHS Commissioning Board

  6. Michael Hunt says:

    I have a question regarding your recent reply to Doug stating “The development of the NHS Commissioning Board will result in approximately 50% less spent on running costs and 60% fewer highly-paid executives across the commissioning system.”

    Could you provide a breakdown of how these percentages were calculated and which organisations they apply to?


  7. Simon@NHS CB says:

    Hi Lynne
    Thank you for your comment. That is correct, CCGs will be required to publish information from 31 January 2014.
    Kind regards

    Digital Communications Officer
    NHS Commissioning Board

  8. John Washington says:

    Hi Simon

    With regards to your statement that “approximately 50% less spent on running costs and 60% fewer highly-paid executives across the commissioning system” do you have a breakdown to illustrate this. ie what were the costs in the old system and with what organisations (PCT/SHA etc) compared with the new commissioning system,? From what I’m seeing on the ground is that these staff and costs are merely being transferred to new organisations and if anything I’m witnessing an increase in managers.