Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 70, 23 October 2014

Gateway reference number: 02409

Download the bulletin as a PDF




Headline News:

Strategic issues:

Operational issues – for action:

Other news – for information:

Events and campaigns:


Headline News


NHS leaders in England publish the Five Year Forward View

NHS leaders in England have today published the Five Year Forward View.

The Five Year Forward View sets out a vision for the future of the NHS and has been developed by the partner organisations that deliver and oversee health and care services including NHS England, Public Health England, Monitor, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Trust Development Authority. Patient groups, clinicians and independent experts have also provided their advice to create a collective view of how the health service needs to change over the next five years if it is to close the widening gaps in the health of the population, quality of care and the funding of services.


Strategic issues:


2015/16 Planning Guidance

At its most recent Board meeting, NHS England discussed the process and timetable for the 2015/16 Planning Guidance.

2015/16 is covered by only a single year financial settlement. It will also be a year of transition because of the general election, after which the incoming Government will want to set out its longer term priorities for the NHS. In light of this, the Board agreed that there will be no requirement to refresh five-year strategic plans.

The Mandate will be broadly stable for 2015/16. The only additional major requirement will relate to mental health access. In essence this means that the outcomes framework remains at the heart of what we need to deliver.

Planning guidance for 2015/16 will be published in early December 2014.


Finance Guidance on the Better Care Fund and S.75 Budgets from CIPFA and the HFMA

As part of plans to implement the Better Care Fund, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), have released guidance for finance professionals. This looks at:

  • The legislation and regulations that underpin the operation of a pooled budget
  • The finance, governance and operational arrangements that clinical CCGs and local authorities need to be discussing and putting in place now in order to be ready for ‘go live’ on 1 April 2015
  • The accounting standards that will apply and need to be considered in advance of preparing the signed agreement that will underpin the pooled budget.


Operational issues – for action:


NHS Standard Contract 2015/16

The following documents will be published within the coming weeks on the NHS Standard Contract webpage:

  • NHS Standard Contract 2015/16 – Draft contract for consultation
  • NHS Standard Contract for 2015/16 – Summary of stakeholder feedback and next steps

Details on how to provide feedback will be given on the NHS Standard Contract webpage when the documents are published.


Cold Weather Plan for England 2014

The Cold Weather Plan for England 2014 has been published.

Recommended steps and key changes to this year’s edition are summarised in the covering letter and which has been issued separately this week to all CCGs.

Please share this information and cascade this letter to GPs.

The Cold Weather Plan 2014-15 remains largely the same as last year with the following essential changes:

  • revision of the indoor temperature guidance – broad minimum temperature threshold for homes in winter of at least 18°C (65F);
  • updated advice on flu vaccination; and
  • planned publication of a stand-alone brochure ‘Making Every Contact Count for Winter’ to follow shortly on the same webpage.


Consultation opens on Never Events Policy Framework

CCGs are invited to respond to an NHS England consultation on proposed changes to the Never Events Policy Framework. This framework is being reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date and addresses feedback from NHS providers and commissioners on a number of uncertainties around the existing document. The consultation will be open until 31 October.

You can view the draft review of the Never Events Policy Framework, supporting information and access the consultation questionnaire on the NHS England website.


Primary Care Digital Maturity Index survey

CCGs are asked to complete a self-assessment survey of their GP IT services, which will be used to assess GP IT digital capability across England. Importantly this will provide intelligence for local strategy and decision making, supporting the future bidding process for 2015/2016 Transitional and Capital funds.

The survey will open on NHS Citizen Space from 28 October, and must be completed by 23:59 on 26 November 2014.

We want to start this process as soon as possible to help you with your planning.

Details relating to the transition and capital bidding processes will follow.


3 weeks left for the £650k NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes

The £650k NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes encourage, celebrate and reward innovation driven by the frontline doctors, nurses and NHS staff who deliver care every day.

The prizes call for NHS innovations in the areas of diabetes (2x£100k), infection control (£50k), use of technology (£100k), rehabilitation (2x£75k) and digital patient and clinician engagement (£100k). Small innovations that could make a big difference to patients are also recognised as part of the ‘Acorn’ challenges (5x£10k).

Only NHS organisations in England can apply and innovations must be proven and should deliver better outcomes for patients and value for the taxpayer. As well as receiving cash prizes, winners will get 1:1 mentoring and support from programme partners which this year include Janssen, 3M, Accenture and Health Fabric.

Applications close 7 November 2014, with winners announced at an awards ceremony on 23 February 2015.

Please see the challenge prizes webpage for further information, or follow us on Twitter for regular updates.


Help improve local area health information tool

Local Health is an online Public Health England resource that enables you to produce reports and maps on health indicators for a variety of geographical areas including CCGs, wards and local authorities. You can even select several areas for a combined report.

Please respond to the online user survey to help plan future developments to Local Health.


Other news – for information: pathfinder areas announced

CCGs in Leeds, Somerset, West Hampshire and Blackburn with Darwen are to help shape the programme in the ‘pathfinder stage’. will eventually create a national picture of health patterns for commissioners.

Further information on is available on the NHS England website. Or you can contact the relevant regional office:


New framework for responding to CQC inspections of GP practices

CQC have begun to inspect and rate every GP practice in England. Practices will be rated in one of four categories; ‘outstanding’; ‘good’; ‘requires improvement’; or ‘inadequate’. A new guidance framework has been developed to ensure that there is a consistent approach for CCGs, area teams and CQC to work together before, during and after inspections and for responding to instances where practices are rated inadequate.

In such instances, area teams and CCGs should be working with practices to ensure there are clear and transparent improvement plans in place and consider appropriate interventions if services to patients are at risk. This framework describes how area teams and CCGs should:

  • collaborate with CQC to ensure ongoing monitoring and surveillance of contracts, prior to and during practice inspections to share intelligence;
  • support practices rated inadequate in one of the key domains or population groups by putting in place an improvement plan and signpost to external support to ensure sustained measurable improvement;
  • oversee progress against improvement plans and take further contractual action if there is no demonstrable improvement.


Palliative Care Funding

Based on a two year data collection from 11 sites covering both adults’ and children’s services, NHS England is developing a currency for palliative care which focusses on patient need. The aim of the work is to provide a transparent basis for palliative care commissioning

NHS England’s initial thoughts on the currency model have been published to allow the palliative care community including clinicians, commissioners and providers to help shape its further development.

Please send any comments on the document or queries to the PCF team.


CCGs for information –  GP records – Improved registration of armed forces veterans

CCGs are being asked to note, that GPs are being requested to ask if patients have served in the Armed Forces and record this information which will enable these patients better access to the full breadth of NHS services.  This may allow them to have access to specific veteran focused funding for veterans for things like prosthetics as well as charitable services in areas such as mental health. This knowledge will also enable GPs to access prior medical records. The Armed Forces Covenant supports all those who have served and may entitle them to priority treatment, for service related conditions, subject to clinical need. To assist GPs, the RCGP have developed a free e-learning training pack with further information available via NHS Choices


Information governance: Section 251 applications extended

The Secretary of State has extended the duration of NHS England’s suite of Section 251 applications under Regulation 5 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. The Section 251 applications allow CCGs and CSUs to process Personal Confidential Data (PCD) which are required for Stage 1 ASHs, risk stratification programmes and for invoice validation. The applications have been extended until 30 April 2015.

Part of the reason the applications were extended was the hard work done by CCGs and CSUs in answering NHS England’s call for evidence and assurance. Further information is available in the 18th Information Governance Bulletin.


English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) report published

The English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) report presents antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance trends in primary and secondary care (2010 to 2013) to NHS area team level in one place for the first time, and allows organisations to benchmark themselves against regional and national results.

It forms a standard against which antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance can be compared in successive years and a resource for commissioning and implementing antimicrobial stewardship policies in England. The report also describes the future plans for enhanced surveillance of antimicrobial consumption and resistance. The ESPAUR report delivers on several key aspects of the UK 5-Year Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy.


Events and campaigns:


Co-commissioning regional roadshows

Further to the recent communication regarding the co-commissioning regional roadshows, please be advised that following feedback from London the date and location of this roadshow has been changed. The London roadshow will now take place on Tuesday 2 December 2014 and will be held at The Kia Oval.

Please book your place via the NHS England events page – links below:

It is recommended to attend the roadshow in your region as there may be opportunity to work with colleagues in your area.  However, it is possible to book into any of the roadshows, so please attend the event that is most convenient.


CCG talent management events

In order for CCGs to learn more about talent management and succession planning, NHS England and the NHS Leadership Academy are holding CCG-focussed regional events on 5 November in Birmingham (for West Midlands and East) and 19 November in London (for both South and London regions). You can book your place using the links provided.

The practical interactive events will showcase the Leadership Academy’s NHS Talent Management Hub, together with the Healthcare Leadership Model and assessment tools, and participants will  hear from a talent management pilot CCG as well as speakers from the Hay Group.

For further information please contact Gill Rooke.


Meaningful Participation with Disabled People event – 26 November 2014, Peterborough

CCG staff are invited to attend this event being organised by NHS England in partnership with voluntary sector partners (Mencap, Scope, Sense and NAS). The event seeks to bring together health service commissioners, people with disabilities, service users and carers to provide a day of learning and engagement.  During the event people with disabilities will be able to share with commissioners the successes and challenges of previous engagement and outline the support that they need to be able to participate in a meaningful way.  In return, commissioners will have the opportunity to engage with people with disabilities and share some of the projects and opportunities that they are currently working on.

Register for this event via the event page, or contact Frances Newell for more details.


Campaign urges older people to seek early advice from their pharmacist

NHS England’s ‘Feeling under the weather?’ winter campaign launches on 27 October. The campaign will run for six weeks, and adverts will appear on the radio and press, as well as in supermarkets and local pharmacies.

The campaign urges older people to seek early advice from their pharmacist or from NHS Choices for minor winter illnesses before they develop into something worse.  It is targeted at the over 60s, and also at the carer audience of those aged 45-60.

Communications resources and information for NHS teams are available on the NHS England 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.


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