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Inadequate CCGs could face ‘disbanding’

Inadequate CCGs could face ‘disbanding’

Under a new ranking system, 26 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been rated as inadequate and face the possibility of being disbanded
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Under a new ranking system, 26 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been rated as inadequate and face the possibility of being disbanded.

The first CCG assessment report using the Ofsted-style rating system, which was announced last year, has rated 10 CCGs as ‘outstanding’, a further 82 as ‘good’, 91 were found to ‘require improvement’, while 26 CCGs were found to be ‘inadequate’.

In a report, Strengthening financial performance and accountability in 2016/17, NHS England will look into “disbanding” inadequate CCGs and transferring their functions to a neighbouring CCG.

These CCGs, which will be required to produce a performance improvement plan, could also be directed “to cease to perform a particular function”, with NHS England taking over that function instead.

Of the “inadequate” CCGs, eight will be placed into a newly devised “special measures” programme.

Croydon CCG will also be placed in special measures, based on its financial position in the first quarter of 2016/17, despite being given a rating of “requires improvement” in 2015/16.

Two of the CCGs, South Gloucestershire CCG and North Somerset CCG, have been directed to form a “single commissioning leadership structure” with Bristol CCG, matching the area covered by their local Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) footprint.

Jim Mackey, chief executive at NHS Improvement said: “This suite of measures will help ensure that the providers facing the greatest financial challenges are supported to bring about rapid financial recovery, while maintaining or improving quality. This plan is intended to restore financial discipline and ensure ongoing financial sustainability across the whole NHS.”

NHS England also announced in the report that they will be publishing planning guidance to help STP footprints “move swiftly from finalising its STP plan in October to agreeing two-year operational plans and contracts that will underpin delivery in 2017/18 and 2018/19”.

This two-year planning and contracting round will be completed by the end of December 2016, the report said, allowing organisations to focus on delivering their STPs over the next two years.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Precisely because the pressures across the NHS are real and growing, we need to use this year both to stabilise finances and kick-start the wider changes everyone can see are needed. Most trusts and CCGs know what needs to get done to release funds for local reinvestment in better patient care and now is clearly the time to fire the starting gun.

“Today's 'reset' sets out the agreed legal responsibilities of individual NHS bodies to live within the funding Parliament has decided should be available to the NHS this year.

“These individual accountabilities will be supplemented by the Sustainability and Transformation Plans now being developed in communities across England, which will set out the wider, shared action they will take together to unleash broader improvement on health, care, and financial sustainability to 2020.”

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