Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 68, 25 September 2014

Gateway reference number: 02300

Download the bulletin as a PDF


Operational issues – for action:

Other news – for information:

Events and campaigns:



Operational issues – for action:

Cabinet Office Consultation – Public procurement

The Cabinet Office is currently consulting on draft Public Contract Regulations which will transpose the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directive into UK law.

The proposed, Public Contract Regulations 2015 set out that in England from 18 April 2016, a light-touch regime for health and social services will sit alongside health sector specific requirements (currently contained in the NHS Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition Regulations (PCCR) 2013).

The light-touch regime will replace the current Part B Services regime that applies alongside the PCCR 2013.

To ensure consistency with the existing PCCR 2013, the “mutual reservation” set out in article 77 of the EU Directive will not apply to healthcare commissioning in England.

Until 18 April 2016 in England, CCGs must continue to follow the existing Part B Services regime and the PCCR 2013. Practical guidance setting out the requirements of the light-touch regime will be published in due course.

Further information and the opportunity to respond to the consultation are available on the website.

Act now to protect hard to replace services

If you commission services that are hard to replace, designating them as Commissioner Requested Services (CRS) means that the organisations delivering them will need an NHS provider licence (even if they meet the exemption criteria).

For services which have not been designated as CRS, commissioners retain sole responsibility for ensuring continuity of services to patients. Monitor’s guidance and briefing for commissioners can be used to help you designate services as CRS.

Many commissioners are starting to include designation in contracts, but as well as formally notifying providers of CRS decisions, commissioners should remember to tell Monitor which services they have designated as CRS (including those services which are specified in formal contracts using the short form on the Monitor website.

For further information please email the CRS inbox.

Dementia Revealed – what primary care needs to know

NHS England has published a new dementia toolkit aimed at helping GPs make the early diagnosis of this crippling condition and, importantly, what they can do in terms of that vital post-diagnostic support.

The tool intended as an educational tool aimed at GPs and practice nurses who have no previous experience of diagnosing and treating dementia. CCGs are encouraged to promote the tool among GPs.

Other news – for information:

New start date for out of area registration confirmed

NHS England has confirmed the extension of choice of GP practice through the introduction of out of area patient registration will now be launched 5 January 2015 rather than 1 October 2014. This change in date is to ensure that the new arrangements are fully operational across England. NHS England area teams will be ensuring that their arrangements for securing urgent care for out of area patients who live in their area are now in place by January, if not already. Final guidance will be published in early October.

HSCIC publishes latest CCG Outcomes Indicator Set data

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published the latest CCG Outcomes Indicator Set (OIS) data that tracks the quality of health services and patient outcomes at a CCG level.  The areas that are covered by the OIS contribute to the five domains of the NHS Outcomes Framework and support CCGs in driving local improvements. The latest outcomes data is available on the HSCIC website

New transparency data tool on NHS Choices

A new transparency web tool called MyNHS is now available on NHS Choices website to enable health and social care organisations to see how their services compare to others on a range of outcomes, at a national and local level.

Developed by the Department of Health, NHS England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Care Quality Commission and Public Health England, the tool gives commissioners, providers and professionals a central snapshot of published data, to drive improvements in the quality of care.  The information currently covers hospitals, providers of social care and public health, and supports the wider commitment on ensuring more transparent health and care services.

The tool will be developed in the coming months to include more areas and reflect feedback from users.

Joint statement from NHS England and Public Health England on plans for improving palliative care data

NHS England and Public Health England have announced they are working with the National Council for Palliative Care, Help the Hospices and the Cicely Saunders Institute to explore the feasibility, options and costs of the collection of individual level palliative care data.

It is the intention that this data will provide information about services and will align with and support the palliative care funding system being introduced by NHS England. Consultation on the data set has begun and further updates will be available in 2015. Data collection via the Minimum Data Set (MDS) will continue. Benefits and implications for CCGs will be established through the consultation. Please contact for more information.

Event report: Commissioning for improved patient experience

This short report is a summary of the key themes and discussion from an event on how to commission for improved patient experience. It covers the following topics:

  • The collection of data on people’s experiences;
  • How to improve people’s experiences;
  • Specific mechanisms and levers to encourage data collection and improve experiences.

It also includes NHS England’s next steps in this area.

For any queries please contact: David McNally, Deputy Director for Patient Experience.

Web resource for commissioners on reducing premature mortality in people with Learning Disabilities: Effective interventions and reasonable adjustments

NHS England in partnership with Public Health England has developed a web resource for commissioners on reducing premature mortality in people with Learning Disabilities. This resource briefly outlines some systemic reasonable adjustments in primary care and acute health services. It also outlines a small number of priority interventions for health conditions with examples of good practice that may be particularly important in reducing premature mortality amongst people with learning disabilities. The resource will be regularly updated as better evidence becomes available.

For further information on the resource, please contact Bushara Bostan or Chris Hatton.

NHS Audit Committee Handbook

Audit Committees and their members play a crucial part in the governance of NHS organisations and the latest edition of the NHS Audit Committee Handbook provides them with an invaluable source of practical guidance to help them carry out this demanding role.

The Handbook is produced by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HMFA) and is designed to apply across a range of NHS organisations – not just CCGs. This means that some references will not apply directly but the underlying principles are common to all.

Copies are available to purchase from HFMA for £15 each. A discount of 15% is available on all orders of 3 copies or more.  You can order online through the HFMA website, by contacting the publications team on 0117 938 8340 or by emailing the publications team.

Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework Negotiations

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework for 2014/15 has now been finalised. The agreed funding envelope is £2.8 billion (£2000m fees and allowances, £800m medicines margin).

Details relating to drug reimbursement can be found here. In addition the headlines relating to service changes are provided here.

For further information please contact Alison Hemsworth

Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)

NHS England has written to all NHS trust chief executives to ensure they continue to have arrangements in place, beyond October 2014, for collection and reporting of PROMs data for hip replacement, knee replacement, varicose vein surgery and groin hernia procedures.

Read the letter outlining the implications for CCGs along with annexes A – approved supplier details, B – provider extracts, and C – the call-off process.

NHS Spine successfully rebuilt by the HSCIC

The NHS Spine was successfully rebuilt by the HSCIC at the end of August. The Spine holds the demographic information of 80 million people and enables electronic messaging between essential applications; a transition of this scale was unprecedented.

Find out more information on the benefits of the new Spine service.

Events and campaigns:

CCG Audit Committee Chairs Forum 21 and 28 October 2014

After the success of the events held in February, we will be running forums for the Chairs of CCG Audit Committees on the following dates:-

  • 21 October Manchester (venue tbc)
  • 28 October London (venue tbc)

As before, they will be led by Ed Smith, Chair of NHS England’s Audit Committee.

Who helps you with governance matters?

NHS England and the Good Governance Institute (GGI) have developed tools for CCGs to self-evaluate the degree to which their governance arrangements deliver on outcomes of good governance.

A free workshop for those supporting CCGs on governance will be held in Leeds on Tuesday 14 October from 10.00 – 3.30pm. This is a great opportunity to learn more about CCG governance and the tools to help CCGs.

CCGs are asked to pass on details to their CSU or anyone else who supports in governance matters and are welcome to attend themselves.

For more detail about the work visit the CCG Governance webpage.

Please confirm your attendance 

Free Conference to help with Demand Management – 10 November 2014

As we struggle to manage the increasing demands on the NHS, it is time to re-orientate our efforts and implement strategies around demand management.  Self care is recognised as one of the few effective strategies for demand management and this will be a major focus at the 16th Annual Self Care Conference in London on 10 November.

Reducing service demand should be a priority for all CCGs so register for your free place by contacting Lorraine Berry. Find out more by emailing Libby Whittaker.

The NHS and the Ministry of Defence (MoD): Working together

NHS Employers along with NHS England and Health Education England invite CCGs to participate in one of a series of engagement events aimed at recognising the benefits that a reservist can bring to your organisation.

The events provide an opportunity to demonstrate how reservists can enhance organisations and strengthen leadership in the NHS; and the contribution played by reservists to the defence and security of the nation.

The first event will be 21 October 2014 in Manchester with future events planned around the country. More information can be found on NHS Employers website

Self Care Week – 17 – 23 November

Since demand on health services increases in winter months as a result of weather related illnesses, this year’s national awareness campaign, Self Care Week (SCW) is focusing on “Self Care for Life – be healthy this winter.”

Signposting to the right service is also crucial during winter as people are genuinely confused about where to go for their particular health needs.  CCGs can help signpost and improve their population’s health literacy as part of SCW.  Help people self care for life. Sign up for SCW updates by emailing Libby Whittaker.


Be Clear on Cancer – Be Clear on Cancer campaign announcement and update

Public Health England, in partnership NHS England and the Department of Health, run the Be Clear on Cancer campaign programme. The campaign aims to improve early diagnosis of cancer by raising awareness of symptoms and encouraging people to see their GP earlier.

This letter announces that the national campaign for 2015 will be oesophago-gastric and will run from 26 January until the end of February. There are also updates on regional and local campaigns and links to resources for the October national “Blood in Pee” campaign.

For further information please email the Be Clear on Cancer mailbox.

About this bulletin:


Please do forward this bulletin to colleagues and encourage them to sign up online.


If you have an idea for a future issue, please email the CCG bulletin mailbox.

Unless otherwise stated, guidance referred to in the bulletin has not been commissioned or endorsed by NHS England – it is evidence that organisations and professionals may find helpful in improving practice.

Categories: Bulletin for CCGsHomeNews