29 May 2012

CCGs Want More Information About Commissioning Support Choice

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want more information about choices of commissioning support available to them, according to an independent report published today.

The report revealed that 59% of CCGs want more information about choice of commissioning support whilst 61% of respondents want more clarity on the types of services support suppliers are able to provide. A further 64% want more advice about how to procure their support. The survey was commissioned on behalf of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority by NHS Clinical Commissioners, as part of the second checkpoint into the development of NHS Commissioning Support Services (NHS CSS).

The survey also suggests a high degree of uncertainty in the commissioning support services landscape after the transition period, April 2013. Almost one in three CCGs (29%) said they didn’t yet know about the pattern of commissioning support they would want from April 2013 onwards. An additional 33% said they expected it to change to some extent.

The positive response rate overall (66%) – despite a low rate of participants in London (41%) – shows how significant commissioning support is for CCGs. And whilst, according to the survey, engagement between CCGs and NHS CSS is good and CCGs feel confident that their arrangements with NHS CSS will support them successfully through authorisation, information about choice and how to best access it remain key concerns.  In addition, survey results indicate that more needs to be done to build CCG’s confidence in NHS CSS ability to deliver the new commissioning vision in an innovative way.

Dr Charles Alessi, a senior member of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said: “In our view, the findings reiterate the importance CCGs attach to being able to access choice of support – a message we’ve heard consistently.  It’s very encouraging that CCG views have been sought and we know that there are some good examples of NHS commissioning support being developed in parts of the country.

“But one third of CCGs are unclear about where they will source support post authorisation. This is a strong indication they wish to explore their options.  We need to find ways in which we can combine the best of all available commissioning support services – from whichever sector - so that CCGs can access the tools they need to drive the improvements needed for patients.”

Dr Michael Dixon, another senior figure in NHS Clinical Commissioners, added: “It is clear that a significant proportion of CCGs need further advice and help on how best to secure support. But, apart from information and choice, another key issue is CSS’ ability to deliver the new vision the NHS desperately needs to transform healthcare. The Government’s own vision is that, if commissioning is to be better, more efficient and create the NHS of the future, it needs to be done differently. Therefore, it is concerning that 49% of CCGs lack confidence in CSS’ leadership to deliver commissioning support in a new and innovative way,”  Dr Dixon concluded.

The NHS Clinical Commissioners is committed to working closely with CCGs so that they are able to identify and access the commission support they need to take their organisations through authorisation and beyond.

Notes to editors:

  1. TNS BMRB, an independent research organisation, carried out online and telephone surveys of 141 CCGs (66% of all 215 CCGs) between and 29th March and 16th April 2012.
  2. NHS Clinical Commissioners is a coalition of the NAPC and the NHS Alliance, working in partnership with The NHS Confederation, to establish an independent collective voice for clinical commissioners and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
  3. For further information on this report, please contact Dr Charles Alessi on 07879848678 or email charles@napc.co.uk
  4. For further information on NHS Clinical Commissioners, please email pressoffice@nhsalliance.org