CCGs – what practices can expect
From April 2013 CCGs will be able to commission a wide range of services to meet local needs.
This includes services delivered by GP practices, provided they go beyond the services provided under the GP contract.
As with PCTs where there are a range of potential providers, CCGs will be expected to commission either by competitive tender or by allowing patients the choice of qualified provider.
Since the intention is that CCGs should decide how to use local resources and invest in community based services, CCGs will be responsible for commissioning local enhanced services under transitional arrangements.
Local authorities will also be responsible for commissioning services to meet their new public health responsibilities.
Local authorities will receive ring fenced grants for public health LESs for example NHS health checks, IUCD, alcohol and substance misuse.
It is expected that the current LESs will be extended into 2013/14, however from April 2014 it will be up to the CCGs to decide how to commission community based or practice based LESs.
CCGs will need to show that they are commissioning to deliver patient choice and the best quality outcomes for patients.
Although GP practices will be best placed to provide many of these services, the CCGs will be under pressure to use any qualified provider (AQP) when buying enhanced services in the future.
When a service is opened up to AQP it means that patients can choose where to have their treatment from a range of provider.
The BMA fear that AQP will lead to increased marketisation of the NHS bringing in private providers.
CCGs will still be able to commission services from a practice on a single tender basis, particularly list based services, however they will be under pressure to introduce greater choice, transparency and to reduce the scope for conflict of interest.
CCGs are advised to follow the best practice set out in the draft code of conduct when commissioning services for which GP practices are potential providers in order to ensure conflicts of interest do not corrupt the integrity of its decision making process.
The department of health released 39 new services under AQP this autumn, some of which will require the provider to be regulated under CQC and be licensed by Monitor and all must be meet NHS standards, price and be choose and book compliant.
Practices need to be aware of these changes and be in a position to apply to provide services under AQP in order not to maintain their income in the future.
If you require further information then please contact Susan Charnock on 01253 404404.