Exclusive A leading charity has pulled out of plans to offer commissioning support to clinical commissioning groups, after deciding it did not have capacity to cope with the complexities of the process.
The Stroke Association said it would instead focus on providing less formal assistance to GPs, in a move that raises questions about the voluntary sector’s capacity to compete with private companies in providing commissioning support.
The charity had held preliminary discussions with the Department of Health about the possibility of offering commissioning support to CCGs.
But Chris Clark, its director of operations, said the prospect was not ‘realistic’: He said: ‘We looked at it as something for which we might undertake formally, but decided that the complexities and expertise behind it were too great for us.
‘What we could do is that we have a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in helping to get patient voices represented and included in commissioning.’
He added the charity could provide GPs with substantial audit data demonstrating the capacity to keep patients out of hospital by early intervention.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘There are some well developed offers emerging from the voluntary sector such as the Neurological Commissioning Support Service that other organisations can learn from.
We will be engaging with a wider group of representatives over the next year to understand what needs to happen for the voluntary and third sector to have a greater role in commissioning in future. We hope that the Stroke Association will join these discussions.’
Excellence in Stroke Care
Have you delivered improvements in care to patients with stroke, at your own practice or as a GP commissioner? Pulse this year is media partner for The Stroke Association’s Excellence in Primary Care Awardas part of their Life After Stroke Awards. Visit www.pulsetoday.co.uk/strokeaward or The Stroke Association’s website for details of how you can enter – and get recognition for the efforts of your team.