Commissioning for quality and innovation

Image source:

NHS England has published guidance to support the 2016/17 commissioning for quality and innovation (CQUIN) scheme.

The 2016/17 scheme introduces two new indicators: one improving the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and the other focusing on 62 day cancer waiting times.

 View the guidance here

NHS England launches national programme to combat antibiotic overusage

Image source: Global Panorama

NHS England has today launched the world’s largest healthcare incentive scheme for hospitals, family doctors and other health service providers to prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Launched against the backdrop of the International Patient Safety Conference taking place at Lancaster House in London today, funding will be made available to hospitals and other providers that reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients’ safety worldwide and is driven by overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately. Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria increase levels of disease and death, as well as the length of time people stay in hospitals. As resistance in bacteria grows, it will become more difficult to treat infection, and this affects patient care.

The NHS’ new programme, which goes live in April 2016, will offer hospitals incentive funding worth up to £150 million to support expert pharmacists and clinicians review and reduce inappropriate prescribing. In addition, a typical local Clinical Commissioning Group with a population of 300,000 people could receive up to £150,000 a year to support GP practices improve their antimicrobial prescribing.

Read the full news story here

CCGs could face tighter scrutiny when tendering big contracts

Illman, J. HSJ. Published online 11 March 2016.

  • NHS England probe into UnitingCare collapse likely to recommend “proactive assurance” around large contracts
  • Regional director suggested the £725m deal structure was too complicated
  • NHS England probe will give a “definitive answer” on Strategic Projects Team’s role in the deal
  • Monitor director says regulator wanted more time to sign off doomed deal


An NHS England probe into the collapse of the £725m UnitingCare contract is likely to recommend clinical commissioning groups tendering large contracts should face far more robust scrutiny, a senior director has said.

Paul Watson, NHS England’s Midlands and East regional director, was giving evidence to a council health committee hearing on the controversial Cambridgeshire older people’s services contract, which collapsed in December, on Thursday.

The contract tendered by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group was one of the largest deals ever awarded for NHS clinical services and collapsed just eight months into the five year deal.

The hearing came on the same day an internal review published by the CCG’s auditors laid bare the depth of disagreement about the cost of running the contract between commissioners and the NHS owned provider, UnitingCare Partnership.

Read the full article here

New NICE Guidance: Community engagement – improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities

NICE guidelines [NG44]Published date: March 2016

This guideline covers community engagement approaches to reduce health inequalities, ensure health and wellbeing initiatives are effective and help local authorities and health bodies meet their statutory obligations.

The guideline complements work by Public Health England on community engagement approaches for health and wellbeing.


This guideline covers recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Health and wellbeing boards, directors of public health and other strategic leads who plan, commission, scrutinise or provide local health and wellbeing initiatives in collaboration with local communities
  • Local authorities, the NHS and other public sector organisations with a statutory obligation to carry out community engagement activities
  • Commissioners of community engagement initiatives
  • Community and voluntary sector organisations
  • Members of the public

Read the full guidance here

Survey: Commissioners lack faith in HWBs to deliver change

Thomas, R. HSJ. Published online 3rd March

Clinical commissioning groups lack confidence in their local health and wellbeing boards’ ability to deliver change and the likelihood of the NHS making £22bn in efficiency savings.

A survey of NHS Clinical Commissioners members, shared exclusively with HSJ, found that 46 per cent of respondents did not associate their HWBs with delivering real change.

Nearly 80 per cent were not confident the NHS will achieve the £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020 seen as crucial to the success of the Five Year Forward View.

Of 350 members who responded to the survey, 103 of were chairs or chief officers, 92 were on governing bodies and the rest were managerial, administrative staff and lay members. A third of respondents said HWBs were a place for discussion and not for action, while 49 per cent of chairs and chief officers agreed this was the case “to a great extent”.

comm hwb
Image source: HSJ 

However, the survey reflected positively on CCGs’ relationships with their HWBs. Three-quarters said they associate them with partnership working , 64 per cent agreed they were a place of open discussion and 57 per cent said they were an “an equal partnership between health and social care”.

On the health service’s ability to deliver £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020, just 2 per cent of respondents said they were confident, while 79 per cent were “not very confident” or “not at all confident”.

Financial performance of the NHS in England

A perfect storm: an impossible climate for NHS providers’ finances? 

An analysis of NHS finances and factors associated with financial performance. The Health Foundation.

Image source:

This report looks at the financial performance of the NHS in England. The main focus is on the finances of NHS providers and the financial position of the commissioners of care (NHS England and clinical commissioning groups).

The report examines commissioners’ budgets and how spending has changed by type of provider, as well as the specific issues facing NHS providers. It also includes the findings of a statistical analysis that set out to identify factors that are most strongly associated with an acute or specialist provider’s deficit.


Image source: