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The report of a customer survey, which was carried out with proposed clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS commissioning support services (CSSs) has been published today.
The findings show that the over 90% of proposed CCGs are very or quite confident that the arrangements they are putting in place for commissioning support will allow them to achieve authorisation. Just over a half say they expect to source at least 50% of their commissioning support through NHS CSSs, with around a further quarter sourcing 30%-49%.
The report also suggests that the majority of CCGs intend to carry on with the same CSS during 2012/13, with one in ten wanting to exercise choice; although they do want more information on choice and advice on how to access procure support.
Although the findings suggest that more could be done to ensure CSS objectives are aligned to those of the CCGs they will support, most proposed CCGs say they feel engaged with, and involved in, the development of their local CSS.
The survey was conducted in March and April 2012 as part of the arrangements to support the second stage in the business review process for CSSs, known as Checkpoint 2.
The outcome of Checkpoint 2 was published on 14 May and the 23 NHS CSSs which are progressing through to Checkpoint 3 will this week receive their development plans which outline the progress they will need to make by August 2012. Overall, the Checkpoint 2 process found that CSSs had good leadership and good levels of engagement in developing their customer focus, but a need to further develop their business focus. Milestones in the plans will be agreed at meetings with the Board Authority in May and June. These will be binding and each CSS will have monthly progress check with the Board Authority.
Joe Rafferty, Director of Commissioning Support, said: “The commissioning support survey results have been taken account of and work is already well underway to address the points that were identified. Overall, we know from Checkpoint 2 that CSSs are on track, but clearly there are some key areas – such as supporting those CCGs which want to exercise their choice of commissioning support, and ensuring CSSs provide greater innovation – which need further development.”
CSS managing directors are due to be appointed from late June and will further strengthen the CSS leadership teams.
The survey was led by the Clinical Commissioning Coalition (comprising the National Association of Primary Care and the NHS Alliance) on behalf of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority to provide an independent view of how the services and the relationships between emerging CSSs and CCGs are developing. Independent research agency TNS-BRMB carried out the work.
The survey was sent to all proposed CCGs, with a 66 per cent response rate. All 25 CSSs included in Checkpoint 2 took part.