New packs will give real value to patients

NHS RightCare has today published the last four in its set of Commissioning for Value (CFV) packs for CCGs to help them identify the best opportunities for improving value for their populations.

The focus packs – on Cancer and Tumours; Mental Health and Dementia; Maternity and Early Years; and Musculoskeletal, Trauma and Injuries – are personalised for each CCG. The information contained in each pack is designed to support local discussions and inform a more in-depth analysis around common conditions and pathways.  Here, the National Director of NHS RightCare explains why they are so vital:

Over the last few weeks NHS RightCare has published a series of seven Commissioning for Value focus packs for every CCG in England – over 1,400 documents.

It’s been a huge undertaking which has kept our team incredibly busy, but which should also have enormous benefits for the NHS.

These packs – covering cancer; the CVD family of conditions, including diabetes; maternity and early years; mental health and dementia; MSK; neurology; and respiratory – aim to help CCGs and their wider health economies identify the best opportunities for improving value for their populations in these high level programme areas.

They then explore the variation within each programme to show which specific areas along a pathway the CCG might want to prioritise.

For example, a CCG will be able to look at the diabetes pathway and see how it compares to its peers in terms of prevention, detection, primary care management and prescribing, secondary care activity and patients at risk of associated problems. For all the indicators we compare a CCG to its 10 most demographically similar CCGs, using information such as deprivation, ethnicity and age of the population, so it has a realistic picture of what’s achievable.

By doing this the packs begin to cover the first two phases of the RightCare approach – Where to look and What to change. The information contained in the Commissioning for Value packs should be used alongside other local intelligence to ensure local health economy planning focuses on those opportunities which have the potential to provide the biggest improvements in health outcomes, resource allocation and reducing inequalities.

The final phase of RightCare – How to change – is also for local agreement, but we are supporting health economies with their discussions and improvement planning through our team of Delivery Partners and by sharing stories of good practice in our series of casebooks. A recent casebook example shows how Bradford identified CVD as an area for opportunity and then reduced the number of stroke and heart attacks through the Bradford Healthy Hearts initiative.

Commissioning for Value is a great example of partnership working – by drawing in the expertise from NHS England and Public Health England we are able to ensure that our work is accurate, evidence-based and targeted. We also work closely with National Clinical Directors, the Intelligence Networks and the third sector to better understand the clinical nuances of what the data might be telling us.

The focus packs and the wider Commissioning for Value work are just one of the aspects of RightCare that we’ll be exploring at Expo in Manchester, so do come along and see us in September.

Until then the team will be busy continuing to provide a wealth of information and support for CCGs and their local health economies – helping them improve outcomes and free up funds for further innovation.

Matthew Cripps

Professor Matthew Cripps is National Director of NHS RightCare, a part of NHS England that focusses on population healthcare improvement and helping the wider health service to identify and use techniques, tools and methodologies to increase value in healthcare.

Its focus on increasing value at system level, for individuals and the population, is seen as integral to the delivery of financial sustainability for the NHS.

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