The government is to provide clinical commissioning groups with more help on choosing commissioning support services, following criticism that CCGs lack information.
The Department of Health has announced that is has set up an initiative that will include a number of activities between now and October to help CCGs make the decisions they need to make on CSSs to meet the requirements for authorisation.
An exclusive survey published by EHI Primary Care’s at the end of last month showed that one in three CCG leaders (35%) were not satisfied with their current commissioning support arrangements and 29% had yet to make a decision about commissioning support.
The results were echoed by a survey carried out for the NHS Commissioning Board Authority by NHS Clinical Commissioners.
This found that 59% of CCGs wanted more information about the choice of commissioning support open to them, while 61% wanted more clarity on the types of services support suppliers are able to provide.
In her latest bulletin to commissioners, Barbara Hakin, managing director of commissioning for the NHS CB, says the initiative will begin with a series of practical activities in June and July.
These will include consultation with CCGs and non-NHS suppliers of commissioning support to explore potential procurement options, timescales and what support CCGs might need during procurement of commissioning support.
The DH will also publish guidance for CSSs on collaborating with local authorities, independent sector or voluntary sector suppliers, and publish a quick guide for CCGs on procuring commissioning support.
In addition the DH will run regional master-classes on CCG procurement for commissioning support, publish a quick guide and and revised ‘ready reckoner’ tool to help CCGs calculate the costs and implications on how they will carry out their function and what additional external support they will need.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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