Archive of: January, 2015
Yesterday MPs debated the future of NHS specialised commissioning and raised a number of concerns on behalf of patient groups, particularly in relation to NHS England’s plans to ‘co-commission’ specialised services with local Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Both the Minister and Shadow Minister endorsed the principles underpinning national commissioning of these services, but a number of questions remain unanswered on the detail of NHS England’s plans.
The Specialised Healthcare Alliance’s response to the debate can be found here.
The Specialised Healthcare Alliance has produced a briefing for parliamentarians wishing to participate in this afternoon’s debate on national commissioning of NHS specialised services in Westminster Hall.
The debate is being led by Stephen Gilbert MP and the Alliance is calling for a focus on NHS England’s proposals to ‘co-commission’ specialised services with local Clinical Commissioning Groups.
National specifications are now in force for all specialised services and the SHCA is calling for Ministers to commit to the retention of national budget-holding for next year and future years.
Our briefing can be found below.
NHS England is taking forward plans to ‘co-commission’ the vast majority of specialised services with local Clinical Commissioning Groups.
To date, ‘co-commissioning’ has not been fully defined by NHS England. The Specialised Healthcare Alliance has reviewed the materials published on the subject to date and prepared a primer which pulls this together.
Worryingly, this suggests that co-commissioning will go significantly beyond greater collaboration between national and local commissioners – a longstanding priority for the Alliance – and is instead intended to see ‘place-based’ budgets for specialised services across the country.
Alliance members fear that such changes to budgetholding would risk bringing about a return to the ‘postcode lottery’ of standards and access to specialised services previously seen before such services were commissioned nationally.
Accordingly, the SHCA is calling upon NHS England and Ministers to provide firm assurances that the budget for specialised services will continue to be held at national level, next year and in future.
The primer on co-commissioning can be accessed here.
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