Early feedback from the clinical commissioning group authorisation process has highlighted planning, complaints and collaboration as some of the most difficult issues.
The indications are in a report on lessons learned from the first assessments of the 35 CCGs applying for authorisation in the first “wave” of the process, published on the NHS Commissioning Board’s website.
The report is intended to improve the rest of the process by highlighting to CCGs common problems “with regard to the evidence portfolio” and how it is organised. However it also indicates where CCGs may be struggling to provide evidence.
The report identifies several “common issues”.
HSJ has previously reported that service and activity planning is expected to be a problem for many CCGs. And the report says that many have not made clear “what the end state is for the CCG in 2014-15, in terms of what they hope to achieve by then”.
It says: “It is not enough to just provide the programmes of work… we NEED to see what the programmes are planned to achieve by 2014-15.”
The report also says “a great number of CCGs” had not specified whether they were on track to meet plans for this year and, if not, set out a “time-limited resolution path to recover”.
On complaints, it says: “For many CCGs, insufficient information was contained in the constitution regarding systems in place to deal with patient complaints… sometimes when the CCG did submit a policy, it was the policy of the PCT.”
In relation to collaboration, the report says: “It is often stated the CCG is planning to work with other CCGs. However, details of these arrangements are not clearly provided.”
Another area of weakness is explaining how “clinical views are foremost” in CCG decision making, and how GP practice consultations will influence its decisions.
The commissioning board has not yet confirmed whether it will publish further evaluations from CCG authorisation, for example on CCGs’ strengths and weaknesses.