Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 43, 3 October, 2013

Gateway reference number: 00516


Commissioning Assembly News:

Strategic issues:

Operational issues:

Other news:

Events and campaigns:

Letters to CCGs:

About this bulletin


Commissioning Assembly News

Commissioning Assembly event a success!

The annual NHS Commissioning Assembly event was held on last week at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.  The event brought commissioners together to create the ‘one team’ of commissioning leaders across the NHS with CCG clinical leaders, NHS England directors and national clinical directors attending.

NHS Commissioning Assembly members were invited to set the agenda for discussion during the day.  Key themes discussed on the day were patients and the public, commissioning for quality and patient safety, aspirations for quality (uniting around a common purpose), service transformation and major service change, and ways of working. The Assembly working groups also showcased their work at the event with popular market place sessions including primary care, urgent and emergency care, financial levers and commissioning for quality.

Members are able to continue their conversations by logging into the newly launched Commissioning Assembly website and responding to the hot topics and forum debate. The Assembly Steering Group will now consider the themes raised and develop the Assembly strategic plan for the year ahead.

This is also open to the wider body of leadership in CCGs, not just clinical leader.

Further information on the Commissioning Assembly is available here. You can also follow us on twitter @CommAssembly

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Mental Health Assembly Task and Finish Group – New group forming

Improving the outcomes and experience of people with mental health problems, including dementia, are major priorities for the NHS.  A short-term focus and delivery group has been set up  to focus on 3 key priorities:

  • Increasing access to psychological therapies
  • Improving dementia diagnosis rates
  • Promoting understanding of the Mental Capacity Act

This new Task and Finish group is being set up within the Commissioning Assembly to look at how commissioners should respond to these challenges, identify the range of activities required to make rapid progress in improving outcomes in these areas, and contribute to shaping the agenda of NHS England’s wider Mental Health Focus and Delivery Group (see article below in other news)

If you would like to join this group please contact


Transforming Participation in Health and Care launched

On Wednesday 25 September, Sir David Nicholson launched Transforming Participation in Health and Care at the NHS Commissioning Assembly in Birmingham. Transforming Participation in Health and Care is NHS England’s statutory guidance for commissioners both in CCGs and NHS England.

The aim in producing Transforming Participation in Health and Care is primarily to showcase the range of options which commissioners can use to ensure that patients can be active in their own healthcare and that the services meet the wants and needs of the local population including tools, resources and suggested action plans. We recognise and support the fact that commissioners, through the different options, can – and should – tailor their approach to the individuals and groups within their populations and hope that the guidance will stimulate discussion about how commissioners can develop their own strategies.

Please do contact us if you would like to be involved with this or have questions at

The NHS Commissioning Assembly Partnerships and Participation Working Group has worked with NHS England in developing this guidance and will be working with partners to lead and support its implementation.

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Strategic issues

Call to Action – national events programme

 NHS England kicks off a programme of national Call to Action (CTA) events on 7 October with a half day workshop to discuss how the NHS can help people to live healthier lives, prevent illness and diagnose it early.

The event in Birmingham, run jointly with Public Health England, will bring together the perspectives of patients, carers, communities and clinical experts in a debate about preventing ill health and creating a healthier next generation.

Other events include:

  • 11 November – ‘Valuing mental and physical health’
  • 13 Dec – ‘Putting Patients in Control
  • 14 Jan 2014   – ‘Well-Coordinated Care’
  • Jan 2014  (tbc)  – ‘Learning from the best’

Outputs will help shape our future strategy and will also be shared with CCGs, Health & Wellbeing Boards and their local partners and feed into strategic plans.

Confirmed dates and venues for the events will be included in future editions of the CCG bulletin. If you have any questions about the events, or CTA, you can email these to:

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Operational Issues


Expressions of interest open for new Seven Day Services Improvement Programme

NHS England and NHS Improving Quality are inviting expressions of interest from across the health and social care system to become ‘early adopters’ of the new Seven Day Services Improvement Programme.

The programme is seeking early adopters who can demonstrate a significant shift to seven day services, have the courage and commitment to push boundaries and lead the way in developing sustainable models, whilst ensuring that patients remain at the centre of the improvements they make.

To enable and encourage local innovation, applications would be welcomed from commissioners and providers.  Find out how to get involved here

Closing date for applications is 14 October.


NHS Services, Seven Days a Week – major event on Saturday 16 November

NHS England and NHS Improving Quality will be holding a major event on Saturday 16 November, to support the publication of new insight and evidence from the review undertaken by the NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum. The first stage of the review, established by NHS England as a key offer to NHS commissioners in Everyone Counts planning for patients 2013/14, has focused on improving diagnostics and urgent and emergency care.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, will be sharing the key findings of the review, and setting out actions and next steps to ensuring that service users in every community are able to access services that meet minimal clinical standards, seven days a week.

Further information and registration details


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Publication of National Tariff proposals for 2014/15

Joint proposals from Monitor and NHS England for the 2014/15 National Tariff Payment System are to be published shortly for a 28-day consultation period.

CCGs will be interested in this package of documents as it sets out the payment rules for commissioners and providers of NHS care to use in 2014/15. The proposals seek to balance the need for innovation in service delivery with stability during a time of transition, and introduce new elements to the payment system such as the potential for ‘Local Modifications’ to be made to national prices.

For further information, please go to the Monitor website at


Other news

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NHS England seeks Chair appointments to key advisory groups

NHS England has launched the recruitment for Chair positions for both its Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG) and its Rare Diseases Advisory Group (RDAG).

CPAG is responsible for making recommendations regarding those services which NHS England is directly responsible for commissioning, whilst RDAG will make recommendations about which highly specialised services or technologies should be considered for investment.

The Chairs of CPAG and RDAG will provide leadership for these areas of NHS England’s work, chairing high-profile, complex meetings and guiding senior multi-stakeholder colleagues to effective outcomes.  They will be appointed by the NHS England’s Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh, and will be accountable to him.

The application process is being managed by the Department of Health appointments team on behalf of NHS England. The closing date for applications is 9am Monday 7th October 2013.

Find out more about the CPAG role and how to apply by downloading the CPAG information pack.  You will also be required to complete the monitoring form

Find out more about the RDAG role and how to apply by downloading the RDAG information pack.  You will also be required to complete the monitoring form.


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Join NICE’s Commissioning Reference Panel

NICE is inviting CCG members and their partners to join its Commissioning Reference Panel. The role of the panel is to provide NICE with formal and informal feedback and support around the commissioning agenda. Panel members will help NICE develop support for commissioning resources to ensure that they meet the needs of commissioners. The reference panel provides members with excellent networking and development opportunities whilst actively supporting the commissioning of evidence-based care which is cost-effective and focussed on driving up quality and improving outcomes for patients and services users.

More information about the Commissioning Reference Panel can be found here


New group to focus on current mental health and dementia priorities

Improving dementia diagnosis rates, access to psychological therapies and compliance with the mental capacity act are three important and immediate challenges for us all. These are also key to starting to improve parity between physical and mental health services.

In order to support the delivery of our ambitions a focus and delivery group has been established with a range of representatives from across the system.

This group is identifying and prioritising actions to facilitate rapid improvement and these slides explain more. The group is keen to capture good practice examples, in particular, how you have overcome local barriers and any other examples of success that can be shared. Please send your feedback and good practice examples to

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Ways of working survey

The independent survey by NHS Clinical Commissioners evaluating the extent to which the co-produced Ways of Working are being demonstrated by NHS England is launched on Monday 7th October.

The online survey will be sent direct to CCGs by Ipsos MORI who are administrating the process and it will run for four weeks until Sunday 3rd November.

Responses are being sought from the Clinical Leader, Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer in each of the 211 CCGs.

The outcomes will be shared with all CCGs and with NHS England later this year.


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Events and Campaigns


Reducing unplanned elderly care admissions into hospital: An invitation for CCG Leads

A research team at the University of Warwick are undertaking an exciting 3 year study exploring how CCGs can reduce unplanned elderly care admissions into hospital. As part of the study they are hosting a learning and development day for CCG leads at the University of Warwick on Tuesday 10th December 2013. At this free event the team will outline their research, feed back some of the illuminating results from their pilot study, and discuss their findings with delegates. There will also be a number of presentations from guest speakers. This will involve sessions on how NHS England can provide support through their CCG development network and strategy teams, how the NHS Improving Quality group can enhance CCG commissioning, and the importance of patient involvement within CCG networks. There will also be networking opportunities with other CCG leads.

This event offers CCG leads the chance to be involved in a timely research study, as well as receiving information about how they can improve their critical review capacity to reduce unplanned elderly care admissions.

For further information, or if you would like to attend, please email no later than 15 November 2013.



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NHS England has issued the following letters to CCGs since the last bulletin:


Transforming care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism and mental health conditions or behaviours described as challenging

This letter from the Minister of State for Care and Support, Chief Nursing Officer and Chairman of the Local Government Association sets out the leadership roles in the key commissioning organisations (Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England) and the critical role they have to play in driving real change to deliver the Concordat.

Commissioners have made significant progress in recent months in implementing the Concordat, but we all know much more needs to be done to permanently transform care for this group of people so they receive safe, appropriate, high quality care. This letter highlights the urgent actions required to help us achieve that goal.


Prevent strategy In Health

Correspondence to all commissioners of NHS services (Area Teams and Clinical Commissioning Groups) to raise awareness of Prevent and to ask them to distribute letters to all their providers due to the requirements specified within the NHS Standard Contract for 2013/14.

The Prevent Strategy is a cross-Government policy that forms one of the four strands of CONTEST – the Government’s counter terrorism strategy. With over 1 million contacts with patients every 36 hours, the NHS and providers delivering NHS services (including charitable and private sector organisations) are key to the support and delivery of this strategy.

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