CCGs in eight English cities describe their innovations in tackling health challenges | The BMJ

BMJ 2015;351:h5139

NHS clinical commissioners in eight English cities are calling for more support from national NHS bodies to speed up efforts to transform people’s healthcare and wellbeing. They want greater flexibility when it comes to contracting services and sharing data so they can be better informed.

The call came in a report launched this week by the NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Core Cities Network at a conference in London.

Tim Moorhead, who chairs the network, said that clinical leaders in these cities had the knowledge and credibility to make “bold decisions” for their populations.

NHS Clinical Commissioners represents England’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The Core Cities Network represents CCGs in eight “core” cities outside London: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield. Its report said that CCGs were tackling “profound health challenges” as outlined by NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

It details 15 case studies and interviews with CCG leaders to show the “progress” being made in the transformation of care. The report features programmes of work with the NHS, local councils, the voluntary sector, and other partners to reduce inequalities and improve people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Examples include Sheffield’s pooling of £270m worth of budgets by the local council and the city’s CCG, Liverpool’s efforts to increase people’s physical activity, work by schools in Leeds to improve emotional wellbeing, and large scale “social prescribing” in Newcastle, in which patients with long term conditions are referred to social activities in the community.

Read the full article via CCGs in eight English cities describe their innovations in tackling health challenges | The BMJ.


Outcomes-based commissioning – much promise, but is it something that CCGs can actually deliver on?

From Clare Allcock | The Health Foundation

Outcomes-based commissioning is all the rage in the NHS. Many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are seeing it as currently the only viable commissioning route to deliver on the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View; 2014’s HSJ ‘CCG barometer’ showed three-quarters of the 109 CCG leaders who participated thought it was likely or very likely they would re-contract a significant amount of spend under an ‘integrated’ contract covering a defined population.

Hang on. Let’s rewind. What are we talking about? ‘Outcomes-based commissioning’ describes an approach to health care commissioning based on outcomes (unsurprisingly), but also the use of a population approach, metrics and learning, payments and incentives, and co-ordinated delivery across providers. It’s these five components together which make up the concept – as such ‘outcomes-based commissioning’ can best be thought of as a brand name rather than simply a description.

So is it the panacea we’ve been looking for? A lot is said about international examples of success with the ‘Alzira’ model used in Valencia being oft quoted by Jeremy Hunt as something the NHS should be moving towards. Colossal claims abound: McKinsey have forecast a saving of ‘a trillion dollars’ in the United States over the next decade for the successful roll-out of an outcomes-based payment model in government health care spending. However if you dig a bit deeper you find that the evidence for outcomes-based commissioning reflects its relatively recent history in health care; while evidence exists, it is limited in scope and strength. And certainly in England, there are as many cautionary tales as there are success stories.

Read the full post via Outcomes-based commissioning – much promise, but is it something that CCGs can actually deliver on? | The Health Foundation.

Outcomes-based commissioning in the NHS

The Health Foundation has published Need to nurture: outcomes-based commissioning in the NHS. This report examines what outcomes-based commissioning means, the evidence to support it, progress to date on introducing the approach in England, and the optimum role of national policy in response to it. The work is the product of interviews and discussions with many commissioners, providers, policy makers, experts and academics; as well as a rapid literature review.


Managing conflicts of interest in NHS clinical commissioning groups

This National Audit Office report outlines the findings from an investigation into managing conflicts of interest in CCGs and how these risks are managed.

It also examined the accountability, control and assurance arrangements for managing conflicts of interest in the 211 CCGs active in 2014/15, based on analysis of information on CCGs’ websites.

Click here to view full report

Service User Involvement: a guide for drug and alcohol commissioners, providers and service users

King’s Fund Health Management and Policy Alert

This guide captures some of the progress made over the last decade in service user involvement, and confirms that it remains a priority, making suggestions for local service development and recommendations about how best practice may be identified, replicated and built upon. It describes 4 different levels of service user involvement, from co-developing one’s own care plan through to initiating and running recovery-focused enterprises. The guide showcases a number of examples of unique services from across the country that have been set-up by, or run by, former alcohol and drug users.

via Health Management and Policy Alert: Service user involvement: a guide for drug and alcohol commissioners, providers and service users.

Cutting reliance on paper will make patients safer, says NHS England

The NHS will announce new measures to help patients, the public and clinicians make more use of technology to improve the health of the nation.

Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information and chair of the National Information Board, will make the announcement later this week when he addresses 5,000 NHS leaders at the NHS Innovation Expo Conference in Manchester.

He says: “Health and social care services in England must end the unnecessary reliance on paper in the treatment of patients.  It’s key to making services safer, more effective and more efficient. Every day, care is held up and patients are kept waiting while an army of people transport and store huge quantities of paper round our healthcare system”.

By April 2016, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), working with local authority partners and providers of care, must submit delivery plans for how they will eradicate the use of paper in the treatment of patients across all health and care services in their region by 2020.