STRUCTURE: Clinical commissioning groups in the south west have been given until December to decided what commissioning support they want to buy in.

A report to NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly cluster board reveals proposals are being developed for commissioning support units across the south west, under the auspices of NHS South of England, the new strategic health authority cluster.

It states: “An early and urgent decision for PCT clusters is to determine the likely geographical footprint of the CSU. Evidence indicates that it will not be economic to deliver commissioning support to a population of less than one million and there are increased economies of scale for some functions up to a five million population level.

“Clusters and CCGs need to understand the range of commissioning functions that are needed in the system and decide what to do/buy/share by December 2011.”

The report adds: “In the local context the options for the CSU footprint are therefore likely to be either the Peninsula (Devon and Cornwall) or the Peninsula within a wider area. Regardless of the footprint selected the functions need to be delivered at the most locally appropriate scale. CSUs operating at supra cluster level are likely to have cluster level offices and staff based locally.”