Engaging your local CCG

Your local Clinical Commissioning Group meetings are open to the public, details should be available on your local NHS trust website- please think about attending and asking questions, let us know how it goes.

Questions you may like to ask:

1. How much has been spent on acquiring services from non-NHS providers?

2.Which clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic services are provided by non-NHS providers?

3.How much has been spent on consultancy/planning/auditing and management services ?

4.Do they feel the use of Any Qualified Provider and tendering weakens the NHS provided services?

5. Do they feel they are really in charge of commissioning and able to commission as they would wish?

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COMPETITIVE TENDERING FOR NHS SERVICES MAY BE AVOIDABLE

Dr Richard Taylor, Co-leader of the National Health Action Party

13 October 2013

At the board meeting of the Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held in public on 1st October 2013, it was decided not to go out to competitive tender for certain services. These were the Local Enhanced Services including control of diabetes and initiation and control of anticoagulant therapy. These are currently provided by local GPs, and after a careful governance process CCG board members were convinced that no one else could provide the same integrated, high quality service. Thus they kept the services in house. For this discussion and decision, the local GPs involved with commissioning left the meeting. We now have to wait to see if this decision will be challenged.

The October bulletin from the President of the Royal College of Physicians that goes to all Fellows and Members of the College contains the following message:

From the PRCP October 2013

“As you know, however, I remain worried about creeping outsourcing and privatisation of clinical services. The new regulations do not require CCGs to tender for services, unless there is likely to be a clear gain to patients. The legislation and the regulator, Monitor, make this clear. Any unwanted attempts to do so should be vigorously resisted, particularly because a new service must protect education and training, research, and especially integration of care. Our commissioning hub on the website has much useful information.”

This is authoritative and very valuable as it comes from a College that, to the disappointment of many, has until now not been sufficiently outspoken with criticism of the Coalition Government’s Act. Thank goodness the College may now have found the voice to represent the views of most of its Fellows and Members.

It is crucial that this clear statement goes to all people who are going to attend their local CCG board meetings so that they are aware that there are circumstances in which competitive tendering for health services can be avoidable.

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Two CCGs have incorporated a clause in their constitutions that requires them to consider alternatives to Any Qualified Provider and look at the ethical behaviour of providers before making commissioning decisions.

Bristol and Hackney CCGs have included a clause in their contract that calls on decision makers to consider ‘whether the use of approved lists is the most appropriate means of appointing providers’.   more….

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