New operating model for armed forces health care IT services

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) has today published a document setting out how the management of IT systems will be organised for health care for armed forces and their families.

Securing excellence in IT services: Operating model for armed forces and their families health services provides a system which ensures the safe transfer of armed forces health IT from primary care trusts (PCTs) to the NHS CB so there is clarity for all stakeholders, safety for patients and business continuity for the NHS.

It follows the recent publication of other IT services operating models including those for GP IT services, primary care IT services and offender health IT services.

From 1 April 2013 the NHS CB will be responsible for the commissioning of secondary care and community services for armed forces serving personnel and families registered with a Defence Medical Services (DMS) practice. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will continue to provide GP, dental and some specialist community services for armed forces serving personnel and GP services only for those families registered with a DMS practice.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will be responsible for commissioning all services for veterans, reservists and families not registered with a DMS practice as they are best placed to commission these services. The safe transfer of these functions into the new commissioning system is highly important to ensure business continuity.

These changes come into force next month. We are publishing the operating model now to enable further key steps in the implementation of the new system to ensure delivery by this date and to enable preparatory work to take place.

The new arrangements as described in the operating model will be kept under review. The NHS CB will ensure they are achieving what they are designed to do within the context of the emerging commissioning system.