Ministerial Task Force

The SHCA is pleased to be represented on a Task Force which has been announced by Lord Warner, DH Minister of State, to look at specialised commissioning in the context of wider NHS reforms with a view to making arrangements more robust.

The Task Force is due to report to ministers by spring 2006 and has the following remit:

Overall Objective

To ensure that NHS commissioning for specialised services is fit for purpose and robust in the context of NHS system reform.

Terms of Reference

  • To review the current arrangements in the NHS for Specialised Commissioning Groups and Local Specialised Commissioning Groups, as set up following DH guidance in 2002 , and the national commissioning under NSCAG and to identify strengths, weaknesses and existing good practice.
  • To assess the potential impact of NHS system reform on specialised services and treatments.
  • To make proposals for improvement in specialised services and treatments commissioning, which fit with work on Implementing a Patient Led NHS, including what should be commissioned nationally
  • Ensure that proposals keep specialised services commissioning in step with wider NHS reforms and generate consistent arrangements across the country.

Early Day Motion

Meanwhile, Doug Naysmith MP has tabled an Early Day Motion (No 762) on the subject of specialised commissioning. This reads:

“That this House notes the large number of people affected by the great diversity of specialised medical conditions; considers that the standard and availability of specialised services is fundamental to a properly functioning National Health Service; recognises the vital role of effective specialised commissioning in delivering a patient-led NHS; and calls upon the Government to ensure that robust funding systems are in place to ensure stable provision for these vulnerable patients.”

The SHCA is keen for as many MPs as possible to sign the EDM as the Task Force gets underway.