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Second wave of CCGs authorised

Exclusive: A second wave of 67 CCGs have been authorised to take over responsibility for the NHS in their local area, but some have been hit with high-level conditions meaning they could have troubleshooters imposed on them, the NHS Commissioning Board announced today.

The Board authorised all the CCGs in the second wave, adding them to the 34 wave-one CCGs authorised in December. The results of the authorisation process for CCGs in waves three and four are expected in the next two months.

But, as Pulse exclusively revealed this week, some CCGs have been hit with level four conditions, meaning the Board will impose troubleshooters onto the CCGs (see box, below). These are Herts Valley, which has been hit with 21 level four conditions, Nene, with six, and Medway, with two.

A statement by the Commissioning Board said 19 of the 67 CCGs in the second wave have been authorised with no conditions, meaning they fully met all 119 authorisation criteria.

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Dr Charles Alessi, interim chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, welcomed the announcement, but warned that instead of the Board interfering, it should ensure that each CCG had an ‘individual package of development support’ to ensure they are ready to commission effectively.

Dr Alessi said: ‘While CCGs will be at different places on their journey and will have different development needs it is for the CCG identify the support they need to rectify any concerns identified.

‘The role of the NHS Commissioning Board is to to deliver a robust authorisation process that ensures CCGs are fit to deliver their responsibilities it is not to second guess or micro-manage how they deliver positive outcomes for their populations.’

In an interview before today’s announcement, Dame Barbara Hakin told Pulse that she expected future waves of CCG authorisations to have high-level conditions placed on them, but that this should not affect their autonomy.

She said: ‘The whole of the authorisation process has been designed to be developmental but also designed to make sure that the commissioning of services are safe. The responsibilities of these organisations are massive.

‘From a patient’s point of view, CCGs are going to be responsible for ensuring the vast majority of health services I need are going to be available and as a taxpayer, they are going to be responsible for a huge amount of money we all pay to make sure we have this NHS which is so precious to us and delivers services free at the point of need.’

Note: this article was updated at 14:43 on 23 January. The original article and headline said individuals or teams were to be imposed on to CCG boards. This was incorrect; the individuals or teams will be imposed by the Board to support the CCGs in this area.


CCG condition levels

1 - Model document or toolkit
2 - NHS Commissioning Board will make advice/expertise available if needed
3 - NHS Commissioning Board sign-off needed for specific decisions made by the CCG
4 - NHS Commissioning Board will place a specific team or individual on to the CCG
5 - CCG’s accountable officer will not be ratified and an alternative will be appointed
6 - Specific functions will be removed
7 - All CCG functions will be removed

Source: NHS Commissioning Board