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CCGs must move towards strategic commissioning to improve local care

CCGs in the UK should move towards strategic commissioning if the healthcare system is to embrace a move toward integrated local care, claims a new briefing from NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC).

‘Making strategic commissioning work’ puts forward a number of recommendations aimed at easing the transition to strategic commissioning models.

Specifically, the briefing calls for national clarity on where integration plans and commissioning are going. Although there are frameworks in place at a local level there is not a clear consensus or legislative framework from UK-wide bodies.

This would include plans to put patients, and quality specifically, at the centre of future planning, with NHSCC criticising targets, payment incentives and prescriptive legislation as largely unsuccessful.

The commissioning body also calls on clinicians to continue their involvement in population level planning in relation to primary, secondary and community care.

NHSCC co-chair Dr Amanda Doyle said the organisation’s member CCGs were clear that a move to accountable care and strategic commissioning was “the right way to bring about effective local systems that improve the health and wellbeing of the populations they serve.”

“Despite this there are challenges as we go through this transition and our briefing today contains important lessons, based on evidence from across the UK and internationally, on what can be done at a local and national level to support strategic commissioning to succeed and drive a more sustainable and person-centred NHS,” she added.

Doyle’s fellow co-chair, Dr Graham Jackson, explained that changes in the commission plans were giving organisations a chance to innovate and drive quality at a large scale.

“To fully grasp this opportunity, we must take on board lessons from both home and abroad on what works,” he explained.

“This will include keeping strong clinical engagement – the evidence in our briefing supports the views from across our membership that if strategic commissioning is to live up to its potential of creating a sustainable healthcare system which delivers more for patients, it must build on the progress that CCGs have made to create groups of primary care clinicians who also work as commissioning leaders.”

Julie Wood, chief executive of NHSCC, wrote about strategic commissioning for NHE’s November/December edition, where she also explained the evolution of the commissioning landscape since 2013 and analysed where it was headed.

She focused on how the expansion of CCG footprints coupled with the development of new accountable care models has changed the system so far, and what can be done going forward.

In the same edition of the magazine, Ruth Robertson, policy fellow at the King’s Fund, considered how CCG responsibilities and relationships will change as the NHS moves towards accountable care structures.

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Dr Ratan Das   15/12/2017 at 21:21

While I agree that CCGs must move towards strategic commissioning to improve local health care, I believe the essentials to achieve that as follows: 1. That the primary & secondary care must work together towards the same goal ie. improve the local health care. 2. The community care must be an integral part with primary & secondary care. 3. One IT system across the primary , secondary & community care thus facilitating shared records which is so important in patient care & safety. If the above is impossible then at least different systems used in different sectors must talk to each other 24/7.

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