Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 51, 24 January 2014

Gateway reference number: 01040



Strategic issues:


Operational issues:

Other News:

Events and Campaigns:

Letters to CCGs:


Strategic issues

Opportunities for CCGs to influence specialised commissioning pathway

The NHS England pathfinder project is looking for further CCGs to be involved in developing a process for ensuring effective commissioning of care pathways. The initial focus has been on five care pathways.

The team have established project co- leads in place for four of the five project areas and are now looking for an additional representative to provide a CCG view on the haemoglobinopathy pathway. Steering group meets monthly.

This is an opportunity to influence how national and local teams work to improve patient outcomes across the whole pathway.

For information about the haemoglobinopathy project, please contact Jon Currington.

For information about the wider programme, please contact Julie Cunningham.


CSU Field Force programme

NHS England has commissioned a new programme of support for CCGs and area teams in order to deliver more personalised approaches to healthcare and ensure effective engagement in local communities. Divided into two separate work streams, Patients in Control (PiC) and Patient and Public Participation (PPP), the ‘Field Force’ programme will provide specific funding to a number of CSUs across the country who will work together with a wide range of other stakeholders to pioneer new approaches, share good practice and enrich commissioning support services through community connections, especially strong engagement with the voluntary and community sector.

For further details and a list of the CSUs who can provide this support, please contact the project lead Di Domenico.


Ensuring the best lead providers for commissioning support services- can you help?

Following the publication of the draft scope for the lead provider framework (highlighted in the bulletin on 9 January) for commissioning support services we are now seeking representatives from CCGs to help us evaluate bids and ensure that only the best suppliers are awarded places on the framework. We are looking for expert commercial, financial and service specific expertise in relation to one or more of the service areas covered by the draft scope.

We are looking for volunteers from a range of roles including (but not limited to) Clinical Leads, Chairs, Accountable Officers, Finance Directors and Directors of Commissioning or Contracting.

If you can commit some time during May and June (PQQ phase) and October and November (ITT phase) or would like more information please email us by 31 January 2014.


Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) interactive data tool

You may recall the December CCG Bulletin highlighted current issues in relation to IAPT data completeness.  The bulletin contained a link to a letter from Martin McShane requesting CCGs complete details of their IAPT service providers to aid on-going work being undertaken by the HSCIC to help improve data completeness.

To date only a small percentage of CCGs have responded.  Given the importance of this agenda, a response regarding commissioned IAPT providers would be appreciated as soon as possible.

Please see the original letter and the spreadsheet for completion by CCGs.

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Update to planning guidance

The following updates need to be made to the planning assumptions as set out by NHS England on page 48 of ‘Planning for Patients 2014/15 to 2018/19.

Secondary health cost inflation assumptions need to be updated to include:

  • An assumed 0.7%  pensions pressure for 2015-16 arising from the revaluation of public sector pension contributions and a further 1.4% pension pressure  for 2016-17 arising from reforms to the state pension.  These are predominately cost pressures for providers and assumed to be funded through tariff. The 1.4% in 2016-17 is however currently an estimate and in practice NHS England and Monitor will need to discuss with central government closer to the time the exact amount of funding pressure that will need to be met by the NHS and any funding arrangements to meet this pressure.
  • An additional 0.3% pressure for 2014-15 for service developments. This is consistent with the national tariff published in December.

Final decisions on the tariff for 2016-17, input cost pressures and the efficiency requirement, including the impact of any pensions pressure which will need to be factored into provider planning expectations, will be made by NHS England and Monitor as part of the annual tariff setting process.


NHS England publishes resource to help health commissioners in ‘Any town’ improve quality of services for patients and close the financial gap

Any town health system is a high-level report that shows what a typical health system’s quality and financial baseline may look like in 2018/19 and how applying high impact interventions might address this challenge. Any town is made up of five connected modules:

  1. A methodology guide
  2. An urban model module
  3. A suburban model module
  4. A rural model module
  5. A further information guide

The report has been developed to support commissioners with their five-year strategic plans, showing how a typical CCG could improve quality whilst addressing the financial challenge over the life of their plan.


Planning support funding

As part of support to planning, NHS England will make a contribution to the commissioning of locally determined support. The total amount available will be £6million and it will be funded through area teams. The funding is for 2013/14 only; unspent funds will not be available in 2014/15.  The allocation is on a population basis and area teams will work closely with CCGs within their Units of Planning to ensure that the money is spent appropriately and that procurement of similar types of support is done at scale.


Better Care Fund planning update

The BCF allocations spreadsheet has been republished, now containing pay-for-performance details and the webinars referred to in the BCF support and resources pack are continuing to take place.

Please see information on how to join, and access recordings of webinars that have already taken place. Please also view the BCF Frequently Asked Questions which will be regularly updated to capture questions and answers from webinar sessions, and questions received through other routes.


Implementing care and support reforms: new guidance

The care and support reform programme is a joint venture between the Local Government Association, Association of Directors and Adult Social Services and Department of Health. It is designed to support local areas in implementing the care and support reforms in the context of the other changes and challenges for local health and care systems, including the Better Care Fund.

On 12 December the programme launched a new website and bulletin for CCG leads and others interested in, or responsible for, implementing the care and support reforms. You can subscribe to the bulletin by emailing us.

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Operational issues


Draft CCG Annual Reporting guidance

The draft CCG Annual Reporting guidance has been published in draft by NHS England and has been made available on the NHS England website for all CCGs to peruse and provide feedback by close of play on 31January 2014.

Once feedback is obtained from CCGs, the comments will be reviewed and amendments made accordingly before being submitted to the Department of Health for approval.

As a requirement for CCGs, all CCGs will need to comply with the guidance when published.

Please forward your   comments to Stephen Fell, Head of Assurance and Procurement


High quality data: A vision

NHS England made a commitment in the Everyone Counts: planning for patients 2013/14 planning guidance to advise CCGs on what good quality data looks like. In return, we said we would ask CCGs to publish their data strategies. Over the next few months, working group with representatives from CCGs, CSUs and NHS England will co-produce a model data strategy, which CCGs can then adapt or adopt. Further announcements will be made on a dedicated webpage. This page also contains our vision for good data together with links to a range of useful resources.


Maternity Payment Pathway guidance

CCGs are asked to be aware of the NHS England ‘Who Pays’ document to support the National Tariff for the maternity payment pathway (MPP).  The ‘Who Pays’ document was developed by a task and finish group with representation from DH, a CCG, PHE (embedded staff) and NHS England area teams. It aims to clarify the specific commissioning responsibility of area teams for national screening and immunisation programmes pathways within maternity contracts (as described in the section 7a agreement), to ensure consistency of delivery across England.  Area teams have been asked to work with their CCGs to implement and comment on the outstanding issues for Downs Syndrome screening labs and the new-born hearing screening 1st ABR, currently part of the screening pathway.


Sample service specifications- pilot and evaluation

Following discussions with colleagues on the Quality Framework Steering Group and the Quality Working Group of the Assembly, NHS England in partnership with NICE has developed five sample service specifications based on NICE Quality Standards:

  • Diabetes
  •  End of Life Care
  • VTE
  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Self-Harm

The sample specifications, based on the national template, are non-mandatory and are seen as a resource for commissioners to help commission services. In order to test their usefulness to commissioners, we are seeking to pilot them with a number of CCGs across the country.

Following the pilot, the CCGs involved will evaluate the specifications to assess how useful they were to commissioners. Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, NHS England may ask NICE to produce similar specifications as part of their package of commissioning support tools.

If your CCG is interested in testing the specifications, please contact Caroline Humphreys.


Quality Accounts- reporting arrangements for 2013/14

Please see the reporting requirements for Quality Accounts 2013/14.

The link also contains guidance on the information and indicators to be included, who to share your Quality Account with, how your organisation’s Quality Account should be published and how to access the indicator data through the HSCIC indicator portal.


Information Governance Bulletin Issue 9

Issue 9 covers the new section 251 support for Invoice Validation by commissioners, and material on NHS contracts and clinical audit.

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Other News


Closing the gap: priorities for essential change in mental health

On 20 January, the Deputy Prime Minister launched “Closing the gap: priorities for essential change in mental health”, a challenge to services to move further and faster to transform support and care for people with mental health problems. It sets out 25 areas where fastest change is expected and how changes in local service planning and delivery will make a difference to people with mental health problems.


NHS Honorary Research Contracts in primary care

NHS England and the Department of Health with the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) and Health Research Authority (HRA) launched a pilot in 3 area teams within Midlands and East Region, to test a model for issuing Honorary Research Contracts and Letters of Access to researchers undertaking research in primary care.

The process will be rolled out nationally by March 2014.  Please see the letter to regional and area team directors and medical directors, providing pilot information and indemnity details. You can also find further information on the NHS England website.


NHS England vision for tackling diabetes in 2014

NHS England has set out a vision for how to tackle the growing problem of diabetes in 2014.

Action for Diabetes has been produced in response to the Public Accounts Committee report on adult diabetes services published in 2012. It is a reference for CCGs on the work that is going on across NHS England, and for the wider community.

It outlines how it will support more prevention of Type 2 diabetes, earlier diagnosis and better management of all diabetes, through a co-ordinated and integrated approach to long-term condition management.


Update of the Cancer Commissioning Toolkit (CCT)

The aim of the CCT is to assist commissioners to identify patterns of care that can contribute to saving lives, give options regarding services, ensure value for money and share information to help improve patient experience.

Data within the CCT are being updated in CCG format and include:

  • A CCG Profile (cancer waits and referrals data)
  • Emergency presentations
  • GP cancer profiles – data are now available to view by individual practice, or all practices within a CCG


Campaign launched to encourage people to seek treatment earlier

NHS England has launched a new campaign called ‘The earlier, the better’ to encourage people to seek help early on from their local pharmacist if they’re feeling under the weather.

The campaign aims to reduce pressure on the NHS urgent and emergency care system by changing public behaviour to help reduce the number of people requiring emergency admissions with illnesses that could have been effectively treated earlier by self-care or community pharmacy services.

The campaign will run from 20 January to the end of March 2014 and will feature national press and radio adverts.


Liaison and Diversion trial sites announced

Ten trial sites to deliver the new Liaison and Diversion service were announced by Norman Lamb earlier this month to improve the health and criminal justice outcomes for adults and children who come into contact with the youth and adult justice systems.

The ten trial sites commissioned by NHS England are: Merseyside; London; Avon and Wiltshire; Leicester; Sussex; Dorset; Sunderland and Middlesbrough; Coventry; South Essex; and Wakefield. By April 2014 these sites commence the rollout of the new service.

For further information please see the NHS England website or contact the health and justice lead. Please email to be provided with the lead name if unknown.


Horizon 2020 is launched

The European Commission has launched its first calls for proposals for projects under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s €80 billion research and innovation programme.

‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’ is the top priority of the ‘societal challenges’ strand of Horizon 2020, with almost 7.5 billion Euros available for the 2014-2020 period.

Parallel with the launch of Horizon 2020, the NHS European Office has produced a Briefing on EU funding for research and innovation 2014-2020: seizing the opportunities for NHS organisations which outlines key areas of Horizon 2020 for the NHS and describes how this programme offers greater potential for NHS organisations to access EU funds than previous funding schemes. It also offers advice on how organisations may go about accessing this funding.


Patient and Public Voice members- recruitment opportunities

The following recruitment opportunities for patient and public voice members to join NHS England committees are now live:

The closing date for applications is 3 February 2014.

  • The Patient and Public Voice Assurance Group (PPVAG) for Specialised Services is recruiting a Chair and up to eight members – now closed.

The PPVAG is an NHS England committee and accountable to the NHS England Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group.  PPVAG will help NHS England put the patient and carer perspective at the heart of commissioning, including working together on plans, advising, and offering constructive challenge.

The closing date for applications is midday 19 February 2014.


 Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (LACDP) – interim guidance for clinicians issued

An interim statement has been issued by the LACDP (14.1.14).  This is specifically intended for clinicians and health and social care professionals involved in end of life care and provides further guidance and direction in the run up to the Liverpool Care Pathway being phased out by 14 July 2014.

The statement is published online.  Please cascade to colleagues, professional contacts and networks as appropriate.

For any queries in relation to the interim statement please email.


Engaging with the Ombudsman

The Health Service Ombudsman investigates complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service from the NHS in England.  We work to put things right and share lessons learned to improve public services.

The Ombudsman will send CCGs a copy of a report where they have been responsible for commissioning the services complained about.  They do this to ensure the NHS promotes good practice and drive improvements in the service they provide or commission.

It would be helpful if all CCGs would email the name of the responsible officer for complaints to us.

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Events and Campaigns


NHS England finance workshops – achieving year end together

Please see details of the next set of Finance Year End workshops. We have sent invitations to everyone who attended the previous workshops and to representatives of CCGs who weren’t able to attend the first set. Every CCG should have been notified of these events.

We strongly urge every CCG to ensure they are represented at one of these workshops:

  • Date: Tuesday 25 February
  • Venue: Manchester- Radisson Blu Hotel,Free Trade Hall,Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP
  • Date:Wednesday 26 February
  • Venue:London- Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel,18 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ
  • Date:Thursday 27 February
  • Venue:London- Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel,18 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ
  • Date:Friday 28 February
  • Venue:Leeds- Hilton Hotel, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4BX

If no one in your CCG has received notification then please email us.


CCG Audit Committee Chairs Forum

The Chair of NHS England Audit Committee, Ed Smith, has written to Clinical Leads inviting the Chair of your Audit Committee to attend one of 2 forums which have been arranged by NHS England in February. Details are as follows:-

Dates:  Friday 14th February and Wednesday 19th February 2014

Venue: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH

Please ensure that the Chair of your Audit Committee has seen the invite, which has more details, as Ed Smith is very keen that they all attend one of these events. The Chairs will have the chance to share learning and experience to date in the roles as well as receiving key messages in advance of the end of the Financial Year.


Regional events for NHS England and representatives of local commissioner – meeting Winterbourne View Concordat commitments

Two regional workshops are being held, on 4 and 5 February in London and Leeds (venues tbc), to consider key barriers between local and NHS England specialist commissioners.

It was recognised in the Winterbourne View JIP stocktake of progress, that there has been a significant period of adjustment within the NHS commissioning landscape since April 2013 which has created challenges in relationship building, communication and collaborative working.

The stocktake returns indicated a lack of clarity overall about how specialist commissioners are engaged with other area commissioners, although there is significant regional variation. The workshops will consider how working together can alleviate this.

‘Looking to the Future’ free event 19 March 2014

This event is to mark the achievements of this year’s Health and Wellbeing System Improvement Programme and to look forward to meeting new challenges in 2014/15.

It will provide interesting insight on HWBs from national figures from DH, Kings Fund, PHE, LGA, Shared Intelligence and NHS England and how they see the future challenges and what is needed to support HWBs as the system leaders to meet those challenges. There will be an opportunity to network and share experiences and good practice in workshop sessions.

  • For further information please contact Sarah Brown at the LGA.


CCG 360 Stakeholder Survey – Co-Design Event 5 February 2014

The CCG 360 stakeholder survey was a key element of the CCG authorisation process and has been included as part of the CCG Assurance Framework. Plans are underway to repeat the survey as part of the annual element of the 2013/14 assurance process.

There is a co-design event on 5 February 2014 at the Hallam Centre, London (10.00am – 3.30pm). An invitation has been cascaded to CCGs and area teams via regional teams.

If you would like to attend, please send us your details by 24 January 2014.


Cancer Outcomes Conference, ‘The Power of Information’, 9 and 10 June 2014

From enabling commissioners to provide the best care to giving patients greater power, protection and choice, information is central to the overall quality of each cancer patient’s experience. Commissioners, clinicians and other healthcare professionals responsible for the delivery of high quality care for cancer patients need data that is intelligently analysed and interpreted to inform their practice.

The Cancer Outcomes Conference, organised by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and the UK and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries (UKIACR) will provide a unique opportunity to hear and discuss the most recent findings emerging from the new and exciting world of cancer data.  Sessions include:

  • Cancer intelligence to support the local and national service provision
  • Emergency presentations
  • Reducing health inequalities
  • Health economics

Please visit the event page for more information, to register or to submit an abstract.

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New Year message from Jeremy Hunt to all NHS staff


The Secretary of State has recently issued a message to NHS staff on the website.

Please feel free to draw this to the attention of your staff.

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About this bulletin


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Future communications to CCGs

We have had feedback from a number of CCGs about preferred methods for communications. We will be putting in place a more systematic methodology to reach all CCGs directly. If you have any comments you would like to make on this, or indeed on the bulletin, please email the CCG bulletin mailbox.

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