News item

Archive of: 2006

  • NHS Operating Framework

    As the SHCA continues a series of meetings with the new Strategic Health Authorities to discuss implementation of the Carter Report and Commissioning Framework, it is pleasing to note that specialised services feature in the new NHS Operating Framework for 2007-08. In particular:

    3.26 PCTs are expected to implement the recommendations contained in the Review of Commissioning Arrangements for Specialised Services , published in May 2006, and set out in the Health reform in England : update and commissioning framework .

    3.27 SHAs are expected to ensure that effective collaborative commissioning arrangements for specialised services are in place in good time and that business continuity is maintained. Ten Specialised Commissioning Groups (SCGs) will be in place and the National Specialised Services Commissioning Group (NSSCG) will be established to take forward the priorities for 2007/08.

    3.28 Key milestones for 2007/08 are:

    • the establishment of the National Commissioning Group (NCG) on the transfer of the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group from DH to the NHS;
    • SCGs to collectively commission a minimum of 10 specialised services; by 2008/09 SCGs to collectively commission most specialised services for their populations.
  • Chair of the SHCA

    Baroness Pitkeathley has succeeded Baroness Hayman as Chair of the SHCA following Baroness Hayman’s election as the first Speaker of the House of Lords. Jill Pitkeathley has a distinguished record in public service with particularly strong links to the voluntary sector. In the field of health, these presently include positions as president of the Prostate Cancer Charity and Bowel Cancer UK and as vice president of the Parkinson’s Disease Society. Baroness Pitkeathley therefore has a very good understanding of the rationale which underlies the Alliance and the need to ensure successful implementation of the new Commissioning Framework as it affects specialised services.

    The SHCA also wishes to express its appreciation to Baroness Hayman for the important contribution she has made to its work since 2004.

  • Commissioning Framework

    Publication of the Department of Health’s Commissioning Framework this month marks an important step in the adoption of the Carter Report’s recommendations on specialised commissioning, most of which have been adopted, though important issues such as revision of the National Definition Set remain to be addressed through other channels.

    The Alliance will be seeking to work closely with the Department, the Strategic Health Authorities and others to ensure effective implementation of the new structures and processes for specialised commissioning set out in the Framework. The Alliance is also keen to see the earliest possible establishment of the National Specialised Services Commissioning Group, which will have a key role to play in determining priorities and advising on issues such as the development of Payment by Results.

  • Specialised Commissioning Report

    The review of specialised commissioning chaired by Professor Sir David Carter at the request of Lord Warner has now been completed. A copy of the full report can be found on the commissioning pages of the Department of Health website ( ) . The report’s key recommendations are summarised in the attached briefing note. Overall, the Alliance is delighted with the outcome of the review. It is, however, important that the recommendations are adopted in full as part of a coherent approach to commissioning in general and that proper attention is given to effective implementation thereafter.