More work is needed on the NHS draft mandate to ensure CCGs have sufficient ‘space’ to transform services, says the newly-formed commissioning body NHS Clinical Commissioners.
Dr Charles Alessi, interim chair of the NHSCC and chair of the NAPC, said while they were encouraged by statements in the mandate which ‘celebrated the autonomy of CCGs’ more work still needed to be done to ensure the right ‘balance of scrutiny and autonomy’.
He added: ‘Even though structurally, conceptually, [the mandate’s) fine. Operationally we have to make sure it translates into something where CCGs have the space they need.’
Dr Alessi was speaking at a launch event last Thursday for the NHSCC’s first published document ‘Clinical Commissioning in Action’, a dossier of service redesigns by 12 different CCGs. NHSCC, a CCG membership organisation, has been formed by the NHS Alliance, NAPC and NHS Confederation to give clinical commissioning a single voice.
Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance and NHSCC interim president said it was ‘no secret’ that the NHSCC had been making ‘strong bids’ behind the scenes to get the balance between local and national, between CCGs and the NHS Commissioning Board, right.
He added: ‘And also in a way to rebalance primary and secondary care. You will notice in the mandate there’s no mention of interest groups, diseases, parts of the body, National Service Frameworks, heart disease, lung disease or whatever. The aim of the mandate and of NHSCC will be (for CCGs) to draw their own priorities and not to have a health service that has previously been skewed towards whichever biomedical power body happened to be reigning at the time.’
Under the Health Act, every year the secretary of state will publish a mandate of objectives for the NHS Commissioning Body to implement. The first draft mandate was published by the Department of Health earlier this month and is now out for consultation until September.