5. July 2012 12:25
Commissioning Support Services (CSS) that are approved by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) will be given a licence containing guidelines on how they will be able to conduct business.
The licence includes the rules, processes and policies that will “underpin the operational arrangements” of CSS whilst they are hosted by the Board.
Guidance published on the final stage of the CSS assurance process outlines how they will be controlled by the Commissioning Board until they become independent in four years’ time.
The ‘license to operate’ will be provisional from October 2012 until it becomes formal from April next year.
It will be in addition to the binding development plan that will be agreed between the NHSCB and the support organisations that pass ‘checkpoint three’ of the assessment process.
“As part of these arrangements there are likely to be some additional checks up to and during hosting that provide the commissioning board with the necessary reassurance that CSSs continue to provide efficient, responsive and viable services,” the document said.
Additional guidance on the financial planning of CSS notes that they will be expected to run at a surplus of 5%-10% of turnover as part of their contingency plans. But they should aim to break even annually, the guidance adds.
Support organisations have also been instructed to save 4% annually between 2012-13 and 2015-16.