28. June 2012 14:21
Clinical commissioning groups will be given free specialist expertise and advice from April 2013 to maintain high standards of public health.
A series of recommendations have been issued by the DH to support CCGs in delivering public health objectives through its Healthcare Public Health Advice Service.
Guidance to support the Provision of Healthcare Public Advice to Clinical Commissioning Groups outlines how local authorities should support and work alongside commissioners in tasks such as making Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and identifying areas for disinvestment.
Recommendations that the service should offer at various stages of the commissioning cycle are suggested in the document, such as interpreting and understanding primary and secondary care clinical data and advising CCGs on prioritisation and processes.
The document replaces the draft guidance published by the DH back in February 2012. As a result of the NHS reforms and the “shift of local leadership on public health to local authorities”, the report says, “it is critical that NHS commissioning continues to benefit from public health advice”.
The service, which will be provided by local authorities, will be the only means available to commissioners in obtaining public health expertise.
As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, CCGs will have access to public health advice, information and expertise in relation to the healthcare services that they commission and will be provided by local public health teams based in local authorities.
CCGs will have the freedom to determine how to organise public health arrangements depending on local requirements.