Standards for Better Health

In a short debate in the House of Lords on 7 April sponsored by Baroness Barker, Lord Warner, responding for the government confirmed that Standards for Better Health published in July 2004 “covers the commissioning by PCTs of specialised and mental health services” and that the Healthcare Commission’s assessment system will cover commissioning. He continued:

“The Healthcare Commission will be working with primary care trusts in the coming year to develop ways of measuring and assessing commissioning more effectively. The commission is also planning an improvement review into commissioning and, where relevant, it will examine how effectively services are commissioned as part of the review, which will embrace specialist commissioning. The new criteria document that the Healthcare Commission will publish shortly will refer specifically to the needs of specialist commissioning.”

DH Steering Group

The SHCA is pleased to be represented on a DH group looking at ways of strengthening and improving the coherence of the processes for planning, decision-making and performance management at all levels of specialised commissioning within the NHS.