Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Some elements of NHS commissioning structures have a way of coming full circle and unfortunately the old adage of “never throw away the signs” has a ring of truth to it!
Back in 2013 when Primary Care Trusts were replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups, the expectation was the new GP-led CCGs would be more responsive to the needs of local patients and be able to implement rapid on the grounds changes.
CCGs have delivered outstanding levels of clinical engagement, and in parts of the country delivered innovative solutions to decades old problems. However, with 211 separate commissioning bodies, and Governing bodies appointed on a localism agenda, the ability for CCGs to work seamlessly together on strategic issues was always going to be a challenge.
Now, as laid out in the NHS Long term plan, there is a move to significantly accelerate the development of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), with a deadline for England wide coverage of April 2021. A key challenge is whether systems can retain the clinical engagement and local focus delivered by CCGs, while also getting Neighbourhoods and Places working together on scale solutions to benefit their patients.
The plan outlines three broad priority areas for ICSs:
Every ICS will need streamlined commissioning arrangements to ensure a single set of commissioning decision at the system level. This will typically involve a single CCG for each ICS area.
National support will be provided to each developing system to produce and implement a clear development plan and timetable.
NHS organisations will be encouraged to support each other with a ‘duty to collaborate’.
The reduction of unwarranted variation will be a core responsibility of ICSs
Supported by national programmes, ICSs will be encouraged to bring together clinicians and managers to implement standardised evidence-based pathways of care.
NHS England and Improvement are working on a new ICS accountability and performance framework.
This will provide a consistent and comparable set of performance measures and then help generate a set of system-wide objectives.
If local systems can demonstrate a track record of strong financial and performance delivery, they will be given greater control over resources.
How Clarity can help
We have expertise in the following areas which will support and accelerate the development of your ICS:
Health needs assessmentsat Neighbourhood, Pl