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Co-commissioning: accountability and the future

Co-commissioning: accountability and the future

Now that they have the power they requested, CCGs will deliver joined up care resulting in better patient outcomes

Posted: 6 May 2016

If you’ve missed yesterday’s episode of this week’s feature on co-commissioning, click here.

Writer: Ross Ferguson

Accountability and support

Ultimately, CCGs are accountable to the Secretary of State for Health through NHS England and its regional offices. However, CCGs are also accountable to their members – GP practices, who can vote to have the CCG Board dissolved or an individual Board member removed. CCGs must also consult their membership and have their agreement before making any decisions about co-commissioning and/or amending constitutions, and before submitting proposals to NHS England.

CCGs are also accountable to patients and the populations they serve.

And, while CCGs are responsible for recruiting the expertise they require to fulfil their statutory responsibilities, they can also call on external support from Commissioning Support Units.

The success of CCGs will be measured on outcomes, and according to Dr Doyle, things are looking positive: “We are already starting to see the benefits of CCGs co-commissioning primary care, though many are long-term changes, which include seeing new models of care developing in general practice, more localised primary care strategies, but the most important success will be improved experience for patients.”

The future

One year into the Five Year Forward View, the NHSCC is calling for changes to help support CCGs in its document Local solutions to national challenges. And in 2016/17, NHS England will be exploring options for the possible expansion of co-commissioning into wider primary care areas, including community pharmacy, dentistry and eye care, with the aim of strengthening partnership working between NHS England and CCG commissioners. The future for CCGs will inevitably be challenging as they cope with increasing healthcare demands, and take on more responsibility within the constraints of the available resources.

The expectation is that now they have the power and influence they requested, CCGs will deliver joined up healthcare and much needed local flexibility, resulting in improved patient outcomes.