Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 45, 1 November 2013




NHS Commissioning Assembly News:

NHS Commissioning Assembly Steering Group – follow up from annual event

Strategic issues:

2014/15 strategic and operational planningA Call to Action: October updateLast call to book on a commissioning for value support event!CCG Assurance Framework

Operational issues:

Pandemic Influenza remains the top risk for England and the UK.Commissioning of Gender Identity Services2012-13 Implementation of Medical Revalidation Report PublishedPHE Cold Weather PlanWinterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme Stocktake publishedThe sixth edition of the IG Bulletin

Other news:

Ways of working survey

Events and Campaigns:

National support network for Secondary Care Doctors on CCG Governing Bodies eventLead Provider Framework workshopSLA Renegotiation workshops; driving effective agreements between CCGs and CSUsImproving Care for Dying PeopleNetworking day for lay members of CCG governing bodies who lead on PPI and champion patient and public views and interests

Letters to CCGs:

NHS 111 Daily SitRep Reporting Arrangements Transfer Period and Winter

About this bulletin


Here is a PDF version of the bulletin:   ccg-bulletin-issue-45_01_11_2013FINAL

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NHS Commissioning Assembly News


NHS Commissioning Assembly Steering Group – follow up from annual event

The NHS Commissioning Assembly Steering Group met on 15 October and agreed that a report should be produced for Commissioning Assembly members following the annual event on 25September.

The event is a key point in the calendar to give assembly members a voice and influence.  Immediate impact has included inclusion of quantifiable ambitions for each NHS Outcome Framework domain in our future focus; earlier indication of the approach to planning in 14/15 and beyond (David Nicholson letter 10/10/13); feedback to the CEO recruitment process on hot issues and increase in shared learning and networking via the new NHS Commissioning Assembly website, launched at the event.

Members of the Steering group are made up of leaders from CCGs, area teams and the national support centre.


Strategic issues


2014/15 strategic and operational planning

NHS England, the Local Government Association, Monitor, and the Trust Development Authority will shortly be issuing a joint letter providing initial guidance on the 2014/15 strategic and operational planning process.

This letter will outline the planning process, objectives, timeline and expectations, prior to full guidance in December which will include a joint set of assumptions agreed by all parties.

The new planning process will see a move away from incremental one year planning and will focus on the development of bold and ambitious plans which cover the next five years, in response to the challenges detailed in “A Call to Action”.

Commissioners, providers and local authorities are encouraged to start working together over the coming months before final guidance is issued in December.

CCGs can expect to receive this letter in a direct email.

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A Call to Action: October update

Following Sir David Nicholson’s letter on 10 October 2013, NHS England has produced a supplementary letter which provides CCGs with further information on their role in supporting A Call to Action (CTA) engagement at a local level, as well as providing dates for national Call to Action events; further information on the planning guidance and a summary of the NHS England initiatives which will support delivery of A Call to Action.

In addition, three sets of slide documents have been provided which outlines the national context, a set of public opinion slides provided by MORI and further details on the Strategy and Planning Process.  CCGs can use these materials to support engagement with patients, the public and stakeholders.

NHS England (London Region) published on 14 October ‘London – A Call to Action’.  We hope this will help stimulate a public debate about the difficult and often unique challenges that all those working in health and care in London are facing.  This builds on NHS England’s national ‘Call to Action’ document published in July.

As well as the local engagement with stakeholders being led by CCGs, NHS England (London) is facilitating additional conversations with other key health stakeholders.

  • London – A Call to Action can be found here
  • For more information email us


Last call to book on a commissioning for value support event!

On Monday 21 October every CCG in the country was sent a bespoke ‘commissioning for value’ data pack which is designed to help them devise the most effective and efficient plans to deliver the best health outcomes for their communities.

Produced jointly by NHS England, Public Health England and NHS Right Care, the packs are the first products CCGs will receive as part of support for the new planning round for commissioners.

To support CCGs and health economy colleagues, two events are being held -one in London and one in Manchester.

At the events you will:

  • understand what the data is telling you about your population health outcomes
  • find out more about using the pack and the data to direct your improvement efforts
  • hear what results to expect from early-adopter CCGs
  • get face-to-face support
  • network with commissioning support services.

Register here:

  • Tuesday 12 November – London’s Business Design Centre – book now!
  • Wednesday 13 November – Manchester’s Mercure Hotel – book now!

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CCG Assurance Framework

After comprehensive engagement and joint production with CCGs, the CCG Assurance Framework will go to the NHS England Board for discussion on Friday 8November along with the Direct Commissioning Assurance Framework. If approved, the final publication will be launched in the CCG Bulletin at the end of November.



Operational issues

Pandemic Influenza remains the top risk for England and the UK

To support planning by commissioners and providers, NHS England has produced the following guidance document on the overview of the current status of the work around Pandemic Influenza preparedness which will be updated at least every quarter.

CCGs will wish to ensure that they and their providers have robust tested plans to respond to and recover from an Influenza Pandemic with partner agencies and that these are updated in line with guidance as this is published.


Commissioning of Gender Identity Services

NHS England has developed an Interim Gender Protocol for the purpose of addressing the significant variations in equity of access currently experienced by patients using gender identity services.  The protocol aims to achieve national consistency in the commissioning of these services and has been introduced primarily to allow time to develop, and publicly consult on, a new NHS England commissioning policy and service specification that will be developed through the Gender Identity Services Clinical Reference Group (CRG).

  • The protocol can be found here

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2012-13 Implementation of Medical Revalidation Report Published

On Friday 25 October the NHS Revalidation Support Team (RST) published a report which showed continued progress in the implementation of revalidation.

The 2012-13 report did highlight serious concerns regarding appraisal rates for doctors in the acute hospital sector. Sir Bruce Keogh has subsequently written to acute trusts to address the issue.

GMC, CQC and Monitor will be also writing to provider boards, drawing their attention to their statutory responsibilities to ensure that doctors are keeping up to date and that they remain fit to practise (including monitoring the frequency of medical appraisals).



PHE Cold Weather Plan

The Cold Weather Plan for England 2013 has been published by Public Health England with support from NHS England and the Local Government Association. It provides support across health and social care to reduce morbidity and mortality due to a reduction in temperature.

  • The plan and supporting documents are available here

Providers should ensure that they update their cold weather plans to reflect the revised plan.



Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme Stocktake published

On 17 October the Local Government Association and NHS England published the ‘Stocktake of progress report’. The report is an analysis of a questionnaire that covers all 152 health and wellbeing board areas, and is designed to enable local areas to assess their progress against commitments in the Winterbourne View Concordat, share good practice and identify development needs. The Stocktake report demonstrates that health and social care systems in local areas across the country are universally engaged in, and working on the Concordat commitments.



The sixth edition of the IG Bulletin

The sixth edition of the Information Governance Bulletin sets out progress on ensuring flows of data to support invoice validation and risk stratification, as well as dispelling any myths about data sharing in safeguarding, and much more. It is essential reading for all NHS staff, so circulate widely within your organisation!

  • Read the IG bulletin here


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Other news


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 was launched on    Monday 7 October.  The online survey was sent direct to CCGs by Ipsos MORI and runs until early November.

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



Events and Campaigns


National support network for Secondary Care Doctors on CCG Governing Bodies event

Secondary care doctors on CCG governing bodies can now connect through a national development and support network. The first event will take place on 21 November. The interactive day will address a range of development issues identified from engagement with doctors in this role.

  •  Secondary care doctors can book their place here

A survey is also being conducted by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM), the RCP and NHS England to gain further insight into secondary care doctors’ experience of the role to date.


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Lead Provider Framework workshop

Excellent, affordable, commissioning support will play a pivotal role in enabling CCGs to secure better value for money and better quality and outcomes for patients. It is critical that CCGs are able to choose from high quality providers and to facilitate this we are developing a lead provider framework agreement for commissioning support. This will enable the CCGs which choose to use it to undertake a quick and easy mini procurement to call off support from assured suppliers.

To ensure that the framework meets your needs – as buyers – we are running a series of regional workshops throughout November to develop the criteria for the framework and make sure that it reflects the way in which CCGs wish to buy services.


SLA Renegotiation workshops; driving effective agreements between CCGs and CSUs


NHS England is running a series of regional workshops for CCGs to provide expert, independent commercial advice on where SLAs can be improved and how as part of any renegotiation.  Attending these workshops will provide CCGs with a valuable insight into how to improve the quality of their SLAs and drive more positive outcomes from their CSU relationships.  This will include interactive sessions with an independent contractor with a wealth of commercial experience, sharing best practice, model wording and supporting material.


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Improving care for dying people

Following publication of More Care, Less Pathway, the report of the independent review into the Liverpool Care Pathway, a series of workshops is taking place (30 October-22 November 2013) to engage with the public and health and care professionals on proposals to improve care for people in the last days of life, and their families and carers.

Convened by the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (chaired by NHS England), the workshops will focus on proposals for a set of desired outcomes for people who are dying which, supported by guiding principles, should be the basis of care in different settings and circumstances.

Further details available on the NHS England website where there will also be the opportunity for clinicians and the public to contribute their views as part of an online survey from 30 October.  The engagement period will last until 6 January 2014.

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Networking day for lay members of CCG governing bodies who lead on PPI and champion patient and public views and interests- 3rd December 2013, London

This event is being organised by NHS England, both nationally and regionally in partnership with the Partnerships and Participation Working Group of the NHS Commissioning Assembly.

This is an opportunity to meet other lay members from across the country to share your experiences and learn from each other.  It will allow you the space and time to network with other lay members from your region and discuss how you would like to work together.

  • To register on the workshop please complete the booking form





NHS 111 Daily SitRep Reporting Arrangements Transfer Period and Winter

This letter outlines the arrangements for NHS 111 Service Areas in regards to daily SitRep reporting during the transfer period from NHS Direct to step-in providers (starting 29 October 2013) and the winter period, and includes important information in regard to the reporting arrangements.

Lead NHS 111 CCG Commissioners should ensure their providers are able to submit reports daily and ensure there is a process in place to monitor the submission quality and timeliness.   The letter also emphasises the need for full business continuity arrangements to be in place during these periods.

Details of national escalation procedures and access to contingency capacity when there are surges of activity or system failure will follow shortly.


Please note that letters are not routinely sent directly to CCGs unless they are urgent or confidential. Letters are ordinarily distributed via the CGG Bulletin.


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