Stevens announces new option for local Clinical Commissioning Groups to co-commission primary care in partnership with NHS England.
England’s 211 clinically-led local Clinical Commissioning Groups will get new powers to improve local health services under a new commissioning initiative announced today by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens.
Speaking to GPs and other NHS health professionals at the Annual Conference of NHS Clinical Commissioners in London, Simon Stevens said:
“England has now taken the bold step – unique in the western world – of putting two thirds of its health service funding under the control of local family doctors and clinicians.
“If we want to better integrate care outside hospitals, and properly resource primary, community and mental health services – at a time when overall funding is inevitably constrained – we need to make it easier for patients, local communities and local clinicians to exercise more clout over how services are developed.
“That means giving local CCGs greater influence over the way NHS funding is being invested for their local populations. As well as new models for primary care, we will be taking a hard look at how CCGs can have more impact on NHS England’s specialised commissioning activities.
“So today I am inviting those CCGs that are interested in an expanded role in primary care to come forward and show how new powers would enable them to drive up the quality of care, cut health inequalities in primary care, and help put their local NHS on a sustainable path for the next five years and beyond.
“CCGs are still young organisations at different stages of development, and with different local needs. So rather than specifying a one-size-fits all solution, and having listened carefully to what CCGs have been saying, I’m keen to hear from CCGs themselves about what next steps they would like to explore.”
Mr Stevens announced that NHS England will be writing next week to all CCGs in England with details of how to submit expressions of interest in taking on enhanced powers and responsibilities to co-commission primary care.
Applications will need to describe the additional powers and responsibilities the CCG would like to assume. They will need to meet a number of tests, including showing they will help advance care integration, raise standards and cut health inequalities in primary care.
They will also need to show how they will ensure transparent and fair governance -with a continuing oversight role for NHS England to safeguard against conflicts of interest – all in the context of the CCG’s five-year plan for its local NHS services.
NHS England will work with the NHS Commissioning Assembly, NHS Clinical Commissioners and other stakeholders to advance this agenda.
CCG expressions of interest should be developed by June 20, the same date that CCGs will complete their initial five-year ‘Forward Views’ for local NHS services.
Each proposal will be discussed by the applicant CCG and the local Area Team of NHS England, which will subsequently make a recommendation for approval by the Board of NHS England.