Framework sets out how to be a multispecialty community provider

NHS Confederation. Published online 28 July 2016

Image source: NHS Confederation

A new framework outlines how place-based partnerships can replicate the successful work of the 14 multispecialty community provider (MCP) vanguards, when establishing their own programmes.

Described as a milestone in the new care models programme and the implementation of the Forward View, the NHS England document defines what being an MCP means by taking features from the 14 vanguards to create a common framework. Commissioners and providers can follow the framework when establishing MCPs, and the vanguards themselves will adopt or adapt it for their own local communities.

The MCP vanguards will move specialist care out of hospitals and into the community, removing divides between primary, community, mental health, social care and acute services to provide efficient, joined-up and preventative care.

Highlighted in the framework is primary care home, the joint programme between NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), which redesigns primary care around the needs of local communities with the same goal of providing integrated, joined-up and person-centred care.

Access the MCP framework on NHS England’s website

Read the full commentary here


New National Commissioning Framework for Hearing Loss Services launched

NHS England. Published online: 19 July 2016.

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Image source: NHS England

A new guide to help organisations responsible for planning and commissioning local hearing services for deaf people and those with diminishing hearing is launched by NHS England today (19 July).


The publication – following a key recommendation made in the Action Plan on Hearing Loss last year – has been produced with patient groups, services users, hearing loss charities and healthcare providers.

Many of the organisations and individuals involved will also attend the event to hear how the comprehensive framework will address support for people whose hearing loss is affecting their ability to fully participate in society.

The framework establishes what effective commissioning looks like for CCGs by:

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Image source: NHS England
  1. Ensuring CCGS are  supported  when choosing good value services  for their local populations
  2. The needs of local people are met by high quality integrated care
  3. Addressing access and outcome inequalities
  4. Improving patient choice when it comes to selecting services
  5. Contracting and monitoring outcomes and referrals from all providers to ensure consistency

It also features a range of local commissioning model case studies, feedback on what matters from those experiencing hearing issues and the principles required before commissioning.

Read the full report here

Tools for assessing value for money for alcohol and drug treatment

Public Health England Blog. Published online: 25 July 2016

In 2014-15 there were 295,244 adults in alcohol and drug treatment services across England.

The latest official statistics on drug-related deaths in England showed the highest number of substance misuse related death since these records began and highlights a worrying rise in the number of older, more vulnerable drug users dying from heroin overdose.

Image source: Sean Stephens – Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

PHE economic tools

PHE produces several tools to help Local Authorities and public health commissioning teams understand and inform their spending. Different tools are useful for different purposes and it’s important to know which one to use to get the most out of them.

For example, the SPOT (Spend and Outcome Tool) provides a broad overview of spend against a selection of relevant outcomes, allowing local authorities to make comparisons across some public health interventions.

Whilst is if often used by Health and Wellbeing boards and councillors, providing a high-level overview of spend and outcomes, it does not estimate value for money or return on investment.

The alcohol and drugs Value for Money tools bring together a range of tools to support local authorities, specifically alcohol and drugs commissioners, to explore ways in which the existing substance misuse budget can be spent to maximise cost-effectiveness.

Alcohol and Drugs Commissioning Tool

Developed by our Drugs and Tobacco team, this tool supports areas in understanding and improving cost-effectiveness. The Cost Calculator helps commissioners estimate local spend and unit costs, while the cost-effectiveness section helps answer a variety of questions on treatment interventions and the use of existing resources.

The Tool compares spend on the treatment system with outcomes of different types of treatments accessed by opiate users, non-opiate users and alcohol only (i.e. leaving treatment free of substance(s) of dependency).

Read the full blog post here

NHS England annual report

NHS England has published its annual report and account 2015/16.

It describes the work of NHS England throughout 2015/16 and outlines some of the most significant achievements and challenges. It shows that the organisation met each of the financial duties placed on it by Parliament in 2015/16, including balancing its budget of just over £100 billion.

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Additional links: NHS England press release

Financial sustainability

NHS Improvement has published Strengthening financial performance and accountability in 2016/17.

logoThis document sets out action to stabilise NHS finances in 2016/17, provides further detail on access to the Sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF) in 2016/17, outlines the proposed basis for assessing the financial performance of provider organisations and introduces new programmes of financial special measures for providers and commissioners that are unable to ensure sufficient financial discipline.

Monitoring requirements for young people with eating disorders

Commissioners have been asked to make specific arrangements to monitor waiting times from referral to treatment for children and young people with an eating disorder.

NHS England has requested that baseline data be submitted via Unify from August 2016. Compliance to the standard will be monitored from April 2017. Commissioners will need to assure themselves that provider organisations can submit the required information, and will need to sign off provider submissions. The first collection will be for the first quarter of 2016, with a requirement for CCGs to sign off provider submissions on Unify by 9 September 2016. Guidance and a full timetable will be available on Unify from August 2016

NHS deficits in 2016

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The aggregate deficit of NHS providers and commissioners at the end of 2015/15 was £1.85 billion – a threefold increase on the previous year and the largest aggregate deficit in NHS history. This new briefing from the Kings Fund looks at the underlying drivers of the deficits along with strategies being employed to tackle them.



Key messages:

  • NHS providers and commissioners ended 2015/16 with a deficit of £1.85 billion – the largest aggregate deficit in NHS history.
  • Evidence suggests that, in recent years, mental health and community services providers have delivered relatively strong financial performance, which may have come at the expense of cuts in staff and risks to patient care.
  • Over the past two years the financial position of local commissioners has deteriorated sharply.
  • There are significant opportunities for the NHS to deliver better value care, but these cannot be achieved at the pace or scale needed to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings by 2020/21
  • Programmes to implement new models of care and transform services offer significant opportunities to improve care, but these will not deliver savings in the short term.
  • The principal cause of the deficit is that funding has not kept pace with the increasing demand for services.

Related: Kings Fund press release