Simon Stevens has praised CCGs for the huge progress they’ve made in their first operational year in a speech to the Commissioning Assembly.
Addressing CCG leaders and other health professionals he commended them on how far they’d come on engaging with key stakeholders and patient groups and taking their opinions on board when commissioning healthcare services.
Drawing from a 360° stakeholder survey, Simon Stevens said he was heartened that stakeholders were largely positive about their relationship with CCGs over the last year with 74% of those who had been engaged saying they were satisfied with their engagement. Furthermore;
- Stakeholders said they were generally positive about their CCG listening to them (66%) and acting upon their views (51%), and 79% rating their working relationship with the CCG as very or fairly good.
- 76% said there was clear and visible clinical leadership of their CCG.
- 86% said they were generally assured about their ability to raise any concerns they had about the quality of local services with their CCG.
- 71% of Healthwatch and patient group stakeholders said they were satisfied with the steps their CCGs were taking to engage with patients and the public.
- The majority of Health and wellbeing board members were positive about their CCGs’ role in integrated commissioning with local authorities; both in terms of developing (89% said they are working well together) and delivering (86% said they are working well together) their shared plans.
Mr Stevens said this was impressive feedback for a system only a year old when the survey was conducted. It showed CCGs were receptive to feedback from every corner.
“The system needs to learn from and build upon such feedback. Good progress has been made in building strong relationships with local communities, stakeholders and patient groups. More importantly we’re engaging with patients to help shape services to best meet local needs.”
But he also urged those CCGs considering merging to tread with caution. He asked them to think hard about the impact this could have on patients; and what the impact of a larger organisation would be on engaging with patients and commissioning high quality local services.
Simon Stevens added; “Let’s not forget this is still a young system. There are areas we need to tackle to secure lasting improvements. We’ve bedded in well and made progress in laying the foundations to deliver improved patient outcomes.”
The 360 Stakeholder survey was designed to inform CCGs of what organisations and people in the health care community thought of their relationship with them. It formed the basis of conversations feeding into CCG assurance for the year 2013/14. 210 CCGs are assured and all are authorised. NHS England has been unable to assure one CCG, due to difficulties in one delivery area. This CCG is being fully supported to get it back on track. This clearly reflects the checks and balances in the assurance process to secure high quality patient services.