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CCGs to pool budgets with police for sexual assault services

CCGs will have to pool budgets with police forces and local authorities where necessary under new plans to ensure integrated commissioning for sexual assault services.

The NHS England plans will also see CCGs taking on responsibility for integrating emergency and mental health care pathways into sexual assault services as part of a move to ‘migrate’ all healthcare provision that involves the justice sector to the NHS.

The guidance, out today, called for ‘integrated care pathways across health, care and criminal justice’, recommending closer working between the NHS and police to address the needs of victims of sexual violence, including any forensic enquiry and their wider recovery and safety needs.

NHS England´s nine local area teams and London region will enter into local agreements with police forces, local authorities and CCGs ‘to establish, where appropriate, pooled budgets and collaborative and joint and commissioning arrangements’.

The guidance said: ‘By definition, sexual assault services require seamless commissioning and service delivery across pathways . It is important for NHS England to engage locally with police forces, local authorities and CCGs to manage the interface between services commissioned for victims of sexual violence so that integration between different providers is achieved in the care journeys take victims take.’