Healthy Commissioning

New report shows that only a minority of NHS commissioners making active use of Social Value Act | National Voices | Social Enterprise UK

New research conducted by National Voices and Social Enterprise UK, found that only 13% of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can clearly show that they are actively committed to pursuing social value in their procurement and commissioning decisions.

The authors of Healthy Commissioning warn that improved commitment to social value is vital to achieving the Five Year Forward View aim of creating a ‘new relationship with people and communities’ and NHS plans to move to more place-based ‘accountable care systems’. It is also vital to making sure the public pound is used as effectively as possible.

 

The Public Services (Social Value Act) 2012 requires commissioners to consider broader social, economic and environmental benefits to their area when making commissioning decisions.

The researchers found that:

  • 43% of respondents either had no policy on the Social Value Act; were not aware of a policy; or had a policy in some stage of development.
  • Just 25 CCGs (13%) demonstrated what the authors define as ‘highly committed, evidenced and active’ use of the Social Value Act.
  • Weighting procurement for social value, even amongst the most highly committed CCGs, is limited and low. A pass/fail question or a weighting of 2% of the total evaluation was common.
  • Analysis of Sustainability and Transformation Plans found that just 13% mention social value.

Download the full report : Healthy Commissioning: How the Social Value Act is being used by Clinical Commissioning Groups

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Strategic commissioning

NHS Clinical Commissioners, in partnership with Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), has published Supporting strategic commissioning: collaborative working between CCGs and AHSNs.

This briefing explores how CCGs can work with AHSNs to support local strategic commissioning and provides a series of tips through case studies which demonstrate the impact that collaboration between CCGs and AHSNs can have for local populations.

Case studies in Supporting strategic commissioning that demonstrate the impact that collaboration between CCGs and AHSNs can have include:

  • the reduction of anti-coagulation treatment costs by £1 million while at the same time improving patient outcomes in Newcastle;
  • a six day fall in referral admission times for patients with acquired brain injuries in London; and
  • the development of a platform able to predict when a patient would present at a hospital if no intervention took place in Somerset.

Developing sustainable primary care

Challenges facing general practice are increasing. This comes at a time of increased patient need, high demand for services and growing challenges in retaining and recruiting clinical team members | PCC

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PCC has been supporting practices to prepare for the future by looking at ways they can become more sustainable. From our work so far, the following themes have emerged:

  • The need to ensure practices are well run, claiming appropriately and considering how the practice, as a whole, could work smarter.
  • Planning for the future –how a practice will need to change in the next three to five years and how steps towards this can start now, to achieve early wins and boost morale.

General practices are responding to the increasing demands they face in several ways. Some are merging with other like-minded practices or working with other partners in the health economy. Others are collaborating to share back office or clinical skills to enable them to manage patients and workloads most appropriately. This includes signposting to alternative local services.

Read the full overview here

Improving Deaf people’s access to mental health services

As many as two in three Deaf people in the UK struggle with mental health problems, but most find it too difficult to access psychological therapy.

Guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health services for deaf people from the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCPMH) and Deaf health charity SignHealth, calls for improvement to deaf people’s access to mental health services.

Despite having poorer mental health than the rest of the population, the 60,000 people across the UK who use sign language as their main language often come up against barriers when seeking mental health services.

The guide’s recommendations for commissioners of primary mental health services could make a dramatic change to the mental health of many Deaf people.

Provision of community care: who, what, how much?

This briefing from the Health Foundation analyses information on the community care contracts held by 78 per cent of CCGs in England to enable better understanding of the provision of these services. It finds that NHS providers hold more than half of the total annual value of contracts in the sample, while private providers held 5 per cent of the total annual value, but 39 per cent of the total number of contracts issued.

Full briefing available here

IT intervention to support medicine optimisation in primary care

Jeffries, M. et al. (2017) Understanding the implementation and adoption of an information technology intervention to support medicine optimisation in primary care: qualitative study using strong structuration theory. BMJ Open. 7:e014810

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Objectives: Using strong structuration theory, we aimed to understand the adoption and implementation of an electronic clinical audit and feedback tool to support medicine optimisation for patients in primary care.

Conclusions: Successful implementation of information technology interventions for medicine optimisation will depend on a combination of the infrastructure within primary care, social structures embedded in the technology and the conventions, norms and dispositions of those utilising it. Future interventions, using electronic audit and feedback tools to improve medication safety, should consider the complexity of the social and organisational contexts and how internal and external structures can affect the use of the technology in order to support effective implementation.

Read the full article here

Reducing antibiotic prescribing for children presenting to primary care with acute respiratory tract infection

Blair, P.S. et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e014506

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Objective: To investigate recruitment and retention, data collection methods and the acceptability of a ‘within-consultation’ complex intervention designed to reduce antibiotic prescribing.

Conclusion: Differential recruitment may explain the paradoxical antibiotic prescribing rates. Future cluster level studies should consider designs which remove the need for individual consent postrandomisation and embed the intervention within electronic primary care records.

Read the full article here