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Commissioner decisions put CSU “at risk”

Commissioner decisions put CSU “at risk”

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A commissioning support unit (CSU) is discussing organisational “transitions” with neighbouring CSUs because the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have decided to take more services in house. 

Central Eastern CSU was planning to apply for a solo place on the lead provider framework (LPF), supported by partnerships with Central Southern CSU and KPMG. 

However, local CCGs have told the group that although they will buy some commissioning support services, the majority will take some services in house from October 2014 onwards. 

A statement from the CSU claims that although it will "remain financially viable, the reduction in our overall income up to 2016 will weaken the LPF assessment of our medium to long term financial prospects. 

"We will also be left without critical mass for some key services which will make our service improvement plans difficult to deliver." 

Central Eastern will work with Central Southern to offer services to customers in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton. 

The CSU will also work with North and East London CSU to offer services to CCGs in Essex. 

A "managed transfer of services" will take place over the next six months, run by a transition oversight committee. 

A statement from Central Eastern managing director, David Stout warned that there could be "uncertainties for staff". 

He said: “We are confident that these discussions will provide a strong platform for delivering excellent commissioning support services in the medium and long term. We have taken action now to ensure that CCGs have access to the best possible commissioning support, building on the strength of our existing services.”

Andrew Ridley, managing director of North and East London CSU, said: “We are very pleased to have been invited to discuss options with Central Eastern CSU’s CCG clients as we are committed to making clinical commissioning work for the benefit of patients.”

John Wilderspin, managing director of Central Southern CSU, added: “It seems a natural and exciting step for us to develop the relationship and to explore the prospect of new opportunities which best suit the CCGs and the patients they serve.”

In the first year of operation, Central Eastern CSUs income grew by over £2 million. The CSU was formed through integrating Hertfordshire Integrated Commissioning Support Unit and Essex Commissioning Support Unit 

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