Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 56, 03 April 2014

Gateway reference number: 01458

Download a PDF of the bulletin (this document is no longer available here but can be found on the National Archives website)




NHS England welcomes its new Chief Executive

NHS Commissioning Assembly News:

Strategic issues:

Operational issues:

Other News:

Events and Campaigns:


NHS England welcomes its new Chief Executive


Welcome to Simon Stevens

Simon Stevens took up his new role as NHS England’s chief executive on 1 April 2014 with a visit to the north east of England.

He spent his first morning in the job meeting staff and patients at Shotley Bridge Hospital in County Durham.

He started his career in the NHS as a trainee manager at the hospital over a quarter of a century ago.

Find out more about Simon Steven’s first day including his full speech


NHS Commissioning Assembly News


Have you visited the NHS Commissioning Assembly website recently?

The NHS Commissioning Assembly website has been redesigned and updated to make it much more user friendly for our members. Please take a look and let us know your thoughts.

On the site you can read the latest blogs from clinical leaders, find out more about the Assembly Working Groups and contribute to discussion on ‘hot topics’.

If you or members of your CCG would like to access the website please sign up here. Or please contact us if you have any stories from your CCG that you would like to share with our members.


Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs): practical support to build on the success and meet the challenges

Video and slide pack resources summarising good practice on shared ownership, working across boundaries and system leadership are available online to support HWB partners develop the effectiveness of boards and improve health outcomes in local communities.  Published by the NHS Confederation in partnership with Department of Health, NHS England and the Local Government Association, browse and download to benefit from lessons learned over the past year or contact Elaine Kirton. Also, read Dr Graham Jackson’s blog on HWBs one year on.


Strategic Issues


Creating the environment to deliver better outcomes for patients – NHS England Business plan refresh published

NHS England has published a refreshed business plan. Putting Patients First: the NHS England business plan for 2014/15 – 2016/17 describes everything we do as a direct commissioner, leader, partner and enabler of the NHS commissioning system under the umbrella of our overriding goal: high quality care for all, now and for future generations.

We have set out our work in thirty-one business areas, some of which focus on the ‘now’, some on the ‘future’ and some on developing our own organisation – though there are interrelationships between all of these.

This business plan builds on Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2014/15 to 2018/19, the planning guidance. It also reaffirms our commitment to improving the quality of care, equality and reducing health inequalities and ensuring that patients and the public continue to be involved in decisions about their care and the future of the NHS.


Securing Excellence in GP IT Services: Operating Model, 2nd edition (2014-16)

NHS England has today published Securing Excellence in GP IT Services: Operating Model, 2nd edition (2014-16), which builds on the foundations set out in Securing Excellence in GP IT Services published in December 2012.

Under these arrangements, GP IT funding will be distributed to CCGs based on patient population size and the changes will be introduced over a two-year period, to support consistently high quality IT services.

Funding allocation levels for these services have also been released, along with guidance to support the transition funding and GP capital approvals process.


Operational Issues – for action


New legal right to choice of mental health provider

From 1 April 2014, patients have a new legal right to choose the provider of their mental health services at first outpatient appointment, as they do in their physical health care.

In response to a call for guidance,  NHS England with the Department of Health and other key partners have developed draft guidance to help each part of the NHS utilise existing systems and processes to implement the new right. The draft guidance also signals further work to embed the new right by 2015. The guidance is currently being tested with various stakeholders before being issued for adoption and formal consultation in April.


Evaluating Commissioning for Value data packs

The Commissioning for Value project team is asking CCG colleagues to evaluate the data packs published in October 2013, along with the supporting tools and resources. The packs were an integral part of the strategic planning approach and aimed to help CCGs determine local priorities and inform planning to improve outcomes and increase value for local populations.

Data from a short online survey will be added to feedback collated from events and other evaluation exercises. The learning will help shape future Commissioning for Value activities so we can continue to provide the most appropriate help for the commissioning system.

You may wish to consider who from your CCG is best placed to respond to the survey and ensure that you only provide one response per CCG.   Thank you in advance for your comments.


Effective governance of CCGs

How can you improve governance in your CCG, and how can good governance help you?

You are invited to shape support for good governance – the language for governance that engages, and the outcomes that good governance can deliver. Join the discussion on LinkedIn, complete the online survey or for more info contact Nicola King.

This research forms part of a project commissioned through the NHS Commissioning Assembly Working Group on CCG Development, and is being led by Good Governance Institute. Workshops will follow in April/ May; book your place as places are limited.


Monthly data on non-compliance with patient safety alerts published

As part of NHS England’s commitment to transparency, monthly data is now being published on the NHS England website on all trusts who have not signed off a relevant patient safety alert as ‘action complete’ within the designated timeframe.

It is suggested that the monitoring of a provider’s alert implementation should be seen as an integral part of the CCGs’ responsibilities for improving quality.

Find out more on the NHS England website.


Sustainable Development Management Plan survey – Action required by 17 April

Many thanks to those CCGs that have already completed the survey. This is a reminder that CCGs need to self-certify their commitment to social and environmental sustainability for 2013/14 by completing a simple four question survey.

The ROCR number has now been confirmed (ROCR ref: ROCR/OR/2226/001MAND) and the deadline for responses has been extended to Friday 17 April 2014.


Lung Cancer Service Profiles – To be made available publicly

As part of the government’s transparency agenda, the lung cancer service profiles were published in the public domain on Friday 28 March.

They have been published on the Cancer Commissioning Toolkit (CCT). The toolkit is a set of comparative data based resources for commissioners of cancer services which is provided by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

The lung cancer service profiles bring together 41 indicators. CCGs are encouraged to use them in their commissioning and monitoring of clinical services. For further details, please see the letter that was sent to chief executives (this document is no longer available here but can be found on the National Archives website) of NHS Trusts on 12 March.


Joined up clinical pathways for obesity; report of the working group

Given reported concerns about the provision and access to obesity services in England, NHS England and Public Health England convened a short-life working group to look into ways in which the pathway and co-ordination of clinical aspects of obesity care might be improved in the future.

The working group was made up of a broad membership including representation from local commissioners and national health and social care bodies.

The report makes recommendations about the future commissioning arrangements for tier 3 and 4 provision.  CCGs may wish to particularly note the report’s recommendation regarding the future commissioning responsibility for tier 3 obesity services sitting with CCGs.

Please read the report and accompanying letter. Comments are invited via email by 6 May 2014.

For further information please contact Nesta Hawker.


How to make your Quality Surveillance Group effective

Since April 2013, a network of Quality Surveillance Groups (QSGs) has been established at a local and regional level across the country.  QSGs regularly bring together organisations from across the health economy to share information and intelligence on the quality of care being provided to their communities.

To support QSGs to be as effective as possible in fulfilling their role and potential, a review has been undertaken by the National Quality Board along with all organisations represented on the QSGs.  This has resulted in revised guidance for QSGs, ‘How to run an effective QSG’, published 25 March.

If you have any queries, please contact the NQB Secretariat.


Post re-direction from the former Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)

The Department of Health’s Legacy Management Team (LMT) have written to NHS England asking that action be taken to reduce the amount of correspondence currently being sent to the addresses of former SHAs and PCTs.

Currently, this mail is being redirected to the LMT; however, these arrangements will begin to come to an end from 31 March 2014, at which point, mail will no longer be redirected.

NHS England has taken action to review its postal arrangements and CCGs are now asked to review theirs, in particular that:

  • where possible, no mail is being sent to the addresses of former SHAs and PCTs;
  • any franking machines transferred from PCTs or SHAs to CCGs are correctly registered with the relevant supplier, using up-to-date account and contact  information
  • stationery (including self-addressed envelopes) relating to SHAs and PCTs is no longer used.


Other News – for information


One year on – report on revalidation published

The NHS Revalidation Support Team (RST) has published a report which says that one year into implementation, medical revalidation is delivering real value but more needs to be done to maximise benefits in the future.

The findings are based on analysis of 3,500 responses to surveys on the impact of revalidation from doctors, appraisers, responsible officers and designated bodies. The report shows a continued increase in appraisal rates but also highlights that some doctors, appraisers and responsible officers are taking slightly longer to participate in appraisal and revalidation.


System leaders sign Statement of Declaration on tackling health inequalities and advancing equality

At the System Leaders Forum on Tuesday 11 March Sir David Nicholson, as Chair of the Equality and Diversity Council, led the way in making his commitment to advancing equality and tackling health inequalities by signing a Statement of Declaration.

Over the coming weeks, more health and care organisations will be asked to pledge their commitment to support the work of the Council by signing the statement.

This is the first time that the senior leaders from health and social care have personally committed to work together to promote equality and tackle health inequalities.


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

A further interim statement has been issued by the LACDP which reflects feedback received as a result of widespread engagement with professionals and families.  This is specifically intended for health and care professionals involved in end of life care and provides further direction in the run up to the Liverpool Care Pathway being phased out by 14 July 2014.

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

For any queries or for further clarification in relation to the latest interim statement, or if you have any suggestions around this work that you would like to feedback to the Alliance, please email.


Information Governance Bulletin

The latest edition of the Information Bulletin has now been published.

This edition focuses on the consultation process, with two papers – Priority Issues for Information Governance (CP-01) and Privacy Impact Assessment – Risk Stratification (CP-02) currently out for comment.


Events and campaigns


National event on Improving health and patient care through community pharmacy – a call to action

Ben Dyson, NHS England’s Director of Commissioning Policy and Primary Care, urged attendees at an Improving health and patient care through community pharmacy – a call to action event on 12 March to identify changes they could make in their communities to enhance the role of community pharmacy.

The event was an excellent opportunity to discuss the key themes and issues that have already emerged from local Call to Action events and identify what improvements could be made.

More information on the event and presentation slides are available on the NHS England website.


Conference on developing models of integrated care for chronic conditions – 1 May

Integrated care improves patient experience and helps you to deliver services more efficiently. But what does it really mean? And how does it work in practice? The King’s Fund and the British Heart Foundation would like to invite you to their conference to explore what integrated care really means and show you real case studies on how to do it.

The conference takes place on Thursday 1 May, 2014, at The King’s Fund, London W1. The conference aims to support those providing care and support to people with long-term, multiple or complex conditions to better understand their role in designing and delivering integrated care.

 Find out more and register


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