News item

Archive of: September, 2014

  • SHCA survey backs NHS England commissioning of specialised services

    The Specialised Healthcare Alliance has today published the results of a survey on significant changes under consideration by NHS England for specialised commissioning.

    Over the summer, patient-related organisations, Chairs of NHS England’s Clinical Reference Groups and companies were asked for their views on the scope of specialised commissioning and the potential for Clinical Commissioning Groups to co-commission specialised services in future.

    The key findings of the survey were as follows:

    • 90% of respondents preferred their service to remain part of specialised commissioning – none favoured leaving specialised commissioning.
    • 82% of respondents favoured either no change to commissioning responsibilities for their service or for more of their service to be incorporated within specialised commissioning. 9% opted for more commissioning responsibilities to fall to CCGs.
    • On the subject of co-commissioning, while respondents were open to collaboration between NHS England and local commissioners, only 15% of respondents would be happy to see this include pooling of budgets.
    • 20% of respondents were optimistic that improvements would be made to their service in the coming year, while 40% were pessimistic.
    • The shape of the response was broadly replicated in relation to those services flagged up by NHS England as more immediate candidates for devolution to CCGs, such as chemotherapy, HIV, neurosciences, radiotherapy and renal dialysis.

    These results have been shared with NHS England to help inform the ongoing work of the taskforce.

    The full survey report is available here: SHCA Survey Results 2014

  • SHCA discusses specialised commissioning with NHS England leadership

    On 23rd September, members of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance met the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, the Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh and Dr Paul Watson, Chair of the Specialised Commissioning Oversight Group, to discuss changes in specialised commissioning.

    Discussion covered NHS England’s future intentions in relation to the scope and commissioning arrangements for specialised services, as well as the perspectives of the patient organisations in attendance, Anthony Nolan, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Neurological Alliance. The Alliance emphasised the advantages of nationally-led specialised commissioning and the need to avoid confusing budget-holding and responsibility through otherwise desirable collaboration with CCGs.

    Attendees were pleased to note the priority being attached to specialised commissioning and expressed their desire to work constructively with NHS England on any changes in future. In that regard, Simon Stevens reassured the Alliance that a measured approach would be adopted, with more significant changes likely to be deferred until 2016/17.