The representative body for clinical commissioning groups has backed plans to make it more difficult for NHS providers to block national tariff proposals.

  • Commissioners back proposal to make it more difficult for NHS providers to block national tariff proposals
  • NHS Clinical Commissioners: “We strongly support proposals to remove the objection threshold based on providers’ share of supply”
  • Follows NHS Providers expressing concern over government’s plans
  • NHS Clinical Commissioners says new threshold “should not be set at too high a level”

NHS Clinical Commissioners has supported a move that effectively curbs the power of large acute trusts to reject proposed changes to the payment system.

Last month, the Department of Health launched a consultation on plans to scrap the objection threshold for providers by “share of supply”, and to raise the proportion of commissioners or providers that must object from 51 per cent to “between 66 per cent and 75 per cent”.

The tariff for this financial year was rejected by 37 per cent of providers, which accounted for 75 per cent “share of supply” for the relevant services.

NHS Providers has opposed the move, while the NHS Confederation said it was “cautious” about the proposal.

However, NHS Clinical Commissioners has said in its consultation response: “We strongly support proposals to remove the objection threshold based on providers’ share of supply.

“There must not be a weighted balance towards a small number of large providers acting in their collective interests at the expense of the health system or service as a whole.

“We agree that the current objection threshold has presented some issues in previous years. If the threshold is to be raised we would be concerned that it should not be set at too high a level.”

The response added: “Whilst there are different views about what the level might be from our members, overall and on balance we believe that the lower end of the continuum within the range suggested, closer to 66 per cent, would be more appropriate, although only alongside the development of a clear system of engagement.

“We believe that a threshold set at the upper level would prevent reasonable objection.”

“We would emphasise the need for full and proper engagement with the health system as a whole to develop a greater understanding of the funding challenge, and build whole system solutions, thereby avoiding the need to use the objection mechanism at all.”