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CCGs ‘will not delegate mandate responsibilities to practices’

CCGs will not delegate responsibility for achieving the objectives in the NHS Commissioning Board mandate but they will ‘help practices understand’ them, the DH director of commissioning development has said.

Dame Barbara Hakin told the annual NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth  that the achieving the objectives of the mandate, published on 13 November, is everyone’s responsibility, and it will not be up to the NHS CB or CCGs to delegate duties.

She said: ‘It is not about delegating responsibilities of the mandate from board to practice, but instead CCGs will help with understanding of the mandate on the ground.’’

However, she said that CCGs must build relationships with practices to ensure the objectives in the mandate – which include a greater use of online access to care and show ‘measurable progress’ to having the best dementia care in Europe – are achieved.  

She said: ‘So that is what I would want to spend my time on - ensuring I have those relationships. Also, how do I keep my practices involved? And not just GPs. Practices must feel as members of CCG, that the CCG is theirs, otherwise we may as well go back to PCTs. To bring real change, practices and CCG must be one. For those of you who are CCG leaders, think of practices as whole practices and work with the practice managers to make the relationships the best they can be.’

She also said CCGs and must also work on partnerships with the NHS CB, other CCGs, local authorities and health and wellbeing boards.

She said: ‘All are playing their parts to make the lives better for patients… your relationships with your providers is absolutely key. The worry is always that other clinicians, or organisations, feel left out, but  good commissioners bring all of the people around the table who have the best knowledge and insight to bring the best services.’

‘In that planning of services, if you do not have the key experts from secondary care, social care and the community, you cannot deliver. In order to provide services to your patients, relationships with other CCGs will be critical but we are leaving it up to CCGs how to organise this.’

She added that NHS CB will produce a document detailing the framework and basis for clinical commissioning in the next few weeks. This will include CCG allocations, outcomes, more detail of the quality premium, information on money for local enhanced services and information on locally delivered IT improvements.