A new report from NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), based on a simulation exercise, aims to help CCGs meet their commissioning support unit needs.
A scenario workshop held in May 2012 explored how CCGs can most effectively draw on CSU resources when commissioning local services.
The report identifies the need of CCGs for greater clarity on the CSU options available to them and how the organisations can best work together.
It describes how six emerging CCGs, four CSUs and an acute hospital trust worked together to develop an operational plan, redesign COPD services, and implement the redesign.
Key learning points identified in the report included:
• CCGs need to understand the support options available to them locally and nationally, while CSUs need to market their services more effectively.
• Both CCGs and CSUs need to understand when clinical leadership is necessary in commissioning and when other CCG members can lead the process.
• The role of the wider clinical team, including nurses and hospital specialists, in guiding the commissioning process needs to be developed.
• The customer/supplier relationship between CCGs and CSUs needs to be explored and tested.
Julie Wood (pictured), Interim Commissioning Development Director at NHSCC, said: “It is absolutely crucial that clinical commissioners receive the support they need to create a robust strategy for their work with commissioning support services.
“Not only do CCGs need a lot more clarity on the options available to them in terms of using CSSs, but they also need to be able to access a range of practical support which is relevant to their requirements.”
Dame Barbara Hakin, National Director of Commissioning Development, commented: “There is still a great deal of work to do to ensure that clinical commissioners have all the support they need, and we have used the insights from this report to inform the next phase of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority’s programme of practical, targeted CCG and CSU development support.”