Three quarters of CCGs authorised 'with conditions'

Three quarters of first-wave clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) face extra scrutiny from the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) under 'conditions' attached to their authorisation.

Dame Barbara Hakin: conditions imposed on first-wave CCGs are minor

Almost half of the first-wave CCGs face conditions that mean some of their decisions will have to be signed off or approved by the NHSCB.

NHSCB commissioning lead Dame Barbara Hakin said she was delighted with the outcome of the first wave of CCG authorisation. Of 34 CCGs authorised, eight were approved without any conditions limiting their freedom, while conditions placed on the remaining 26 were ‘minor’.

One CCG earmarked for the first wave, Liverpool CCG, has been deferred to the fourth wave after a ‘recent significant change in its arrangements’.

Conditions are placed on CCGs if they do not meet in full the 119 criteria set by the NHSCB. Criteria not met by some of the first-wave CCGs include having a ‘clear and credible integrated plan and draft commissioning intentions', a ‘detailed financial plan that delivers financial balance’ and ‘systems in place to convert insights about patient choice/s in practice consultations into plans and decision-making’.

Under the most severe sanctions available to the NHSCB, conditions imposed on CCGs can include stripping them of the right to carry out their functions independently. But Dame Barbara said the low-level conditions imposed on the first-wave CCGs meant most would be removed before they took over from PCTs in April 2013.

‘I am really delighted that CCGs in wave one have relatively minor conditions,’ she said.

First wave of authorised CCGs 

Click on an area to find out more about its local population, number of practices and funding allocation. The red-shaded areas are CCGs that have been authorised by the NHSCB.

Conditions imposed on the first wave of CCGs will be reviewed in March 2013. Dame Barbara said it was 'extremely likely' that conditions would remain in place for some CCGs after PCTs are abolished from April.

She said most CCGs were ‘comfortable’ with the conditions they had and said that the groups were ‘confident about what they had to do’ to have them lifted.

North and West Riding CCG had 14 conditions imposed, more than any other group. Wokingham CCG faces the second highest number of conditions, with eight, while Oxfordshire CCG was third most affected with five.

The outcomes of the remaining three authorisation waves are due on 18 January, 15 February and 6 March.

Asked when the final plans for the quality premium - the money made available to CCGs to reward practices for outcomes - would be announced, Dame Barbara said: ‘The board (NHSCB) and the DH are continuing to discuss the quality premium and we hope that it will be shortly.’

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