News item

Archive of: December, 2013

  • HSJ article on funding for specialised services

    The Health Service Journal has published a comment piece by the Director of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance on the funding arrangements for specialised services.

    The article provides an overview of the budgetary difficulties that have beset NHS England in the first months of its commissioning of specialised services, including the avoidable topslicing of additional funds for specialised services from Clinical Commissioning Groups just a few months after the new arrangements took effect.

    If the promise of the new commissioning arrangements for specialised services is to be realised, with service standards levelled up for patients uniformly across the country, action urgently needs to be taken. NHS England must ensure that resource is properly allocated to activity and that funding for specialised services moves towards a genuine national risk share, in order to achieve both value and quality in specialised commissioning.

    The article is online here and reproduced here: HSJ article on specialised services funding 20131212

  • SHCA publishes report of meetings with NHS England's Area Teams

    Between June and October 2013, the Specialised Healthcare Alliance held meetings with each of the 10 Area Teams with responsibility for specialised commissioning. The Alliance sought to gain a better understanding of how the new arrangements for specialised services were working in practice and to discuss the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.

    A summary of the findings from this series of meetings has now been published. Amongst the key observations from the meetings were:

    • the urgent need to communicate the merits of the new arrangements to CCGs and HWBs;
    • the importance of developing accurate budgets and to avoid mid-year top-slicing which could inflame those relationships and potentially prejudice patient care;
    • the need to clarify the role of Area Teams in patient and public engagement;
    • the weak nature of relationships with area representatives on CRGs.

    The summary report is available here: SHCA Area Team Meetings 2013 – Summary of Findings