Welcome to the Commissioning News online newsfeed. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.


A call for action against sepsis

NHS RightCare has produced a call to action video with former National Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh to address sepsis. 

This video calls for all commissioners, clinicians and health economies in England to come together to address and reduce the variation found in the care of sepsis for all patients with the aim of improving outcomes and quality of life.

In spring 2018, NHS RightCare will publish a full scenario detailing a sub-optimal, but realistic, care pathway against an optimal pathway and the measures that can be applied to improve identification, treatment and outcomes.

Implementing the 2018/19 GP Contract: letter to commissioners

This letter from confirms the outcome of the 2018/19 General Medical Services (GMS) contract negotiations.


NHS England has published a letter to commissioners which signposts all the guidance that is, or will shortly be, available to support implementation of contract changes for 2018/19.

CCGs with delegated commissioning responsibilities should work to amend local primary medical care contracts and implement changes at the earliest possible opportunity, backdated in effect from 1 April 2018, including any agreed enhanced services.

New data protection legislation affecting all NHS organisations

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to replace the existing Data Protection Act on 25 May 2018. It will require all organisations, which process personal data – including CCGs, to meet higher data protection standards.

Some of the new requirements of GDPR will be appointing a data protection officer, the ability to demonstrate that you are complying with the new law and higher penalties for those not following the rules.

The Information Commissioners Office has produced a package of tools and resources to help you get ready. These resources include:

Image source: ico.org.uk/

Further information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s website.

Best start in life: cost-effective commissioning

Public Health England  |  March 2018   | Best start in life: cost-effective commissioning  

Public Health England has produced guidance for local commissioners to provide cost-effective interventions for children aged up to 5 and pregnant women.  It is designed to support local authorities and clinical commissioning groups  when making commissioning decisions.


The interventions included in the tool have been selected because they demonstrate cost-effectiveness and good economic return aimed at the target population(s).  In total, there are eleven interventions; two of these are focused on breastfeeding uptake and the other nine look at preventing or treating postnatal depression (PND).

Best start in life: cost-effectiveness and ROI of interventions,  a report which provides further details on how the tool was constructed can be read at PHE 

Best start in life: return on investment tool can be  downoaded from PHE  

Further details are available at Public Health England 

How is the NHS performing? March 2018 quarterly monitoring report

The King’s Fund| March 2018 | How is the NHS performing? March 2018 quarterly monitoring report 

The King’s Fund has released its quarterly monitoring report (QMR) of NHS performance. Its analysis finds increased numbers of patients are facing long waits for hospital treatment, with those experiencing the longest delay often most in need of treatment. As demand for services is continuing to rise, the think tank finds it unlikely that meeting waiting time targets will become more achievable, with implications for how the NHS protects patients waiting the longest (The King’s Fund).

Since the last QMR there has been a Budget, new planning guidance for 2018/19 and most (but not all) of winter.  The King’s Fund considers the impact of these factors together with their latest survey data sources to discuss the current position and forecast for finance and performance.

The report focuses on four key areas:

  • Finance
  • Perforamce
  • Waiting times: making the sickest wait longest
  • Looking to the future

It is available at the King’s Fund 

Making the most of digital technology in the NHS a case study approach

The King’s Fund spotlights the work of Liverpool Commissioning Group, responsible for NHS services across the city which is implementing a shared patient record amongst other technology developments; and Essex University Partnership Trust, a community and mental health provider covering one of the largest geographic areas of any single trust.  While the Commissioning Group is using technology with the aim of improving residents’ health; Essex University Partnership Trust has been using digital technology to change its service delivery to patients. Each of these areas are using electronic records and enabling staff to access their office facilities through mobile working. 



The blog post outlines the difficulties in managing digital change as well as discussing the benefits of implementing digital technology, such as improved patient safety as a result of better information.  They conclude there are three key drivers of success in such digital projects

  1. the quality and level of clinical engagement and involvement in project and system design
  2. the belief in your work and involvement at board level
  3. resourcing your support and training correctly.

Neither of the interviewees in the case studies neither found digital change easy, but they outlined that to facilitate these changes there was a need for peer-to-peer communication, clinical leadership and ensuring those at the front line are involved in designing their service.

The full blog post is available from The King’s Fund 

Responsibility for prescribing between Primary & Secondary/Tertiary Care

The latest guidance for Commissioners has been published by NHS England. Its purpose it to provide clarity on the responsibilities of all professionals involved in commissioning and prescribing across primary, secondary and tertiary care, and to provide support in developing shared care agreements and in the transfer of care.


The guidance can can be read here