Clinical commissioning groups have hit out at what they describe as an ever growing bureaucracy and an ‘oppressive’ reporting process imposed by national bodies, which they say is making their jobs more difficult.

  • NHS Clinical Commissioners, which represents CCGs, strongly criticises current reporting and regulatory regime for CCGs
  • Report requests single outcomes framework for health, public health and social care
  • Also calls for multi-year commissioner financial settlements and end to “micromanagement”

The criticisms come in a report published by the umbrella body NHS Clinical Commissioners, which presents a set of demands to national bodies to help its membership..

Amanda Doyle, NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair and chief clinical officer of Blackpool CCG, said CCGs were being “diverted by narrow short term priorities imposed from the centre”.

Amanda Doyle

CCGs are being ‘diverted by narrow short term priorities’, Amanda Doyle said

Local Solutions to National Challenges includes a call for reform of the tariff payment system, which CCGs say favours hospital care over prevention.

It also calls for a multi-year financial settlement and five year planning timetables, as opposed to the current requirement for annual plans to be submitted to NHS England. CCGs, working as health systems, are expected to be asked shortly to draw up strategies for the coming four or five years, and may receive allocations covering four years.

The commissioners are calling for a more “mature” relationship with national bodies, an end to “micromanagement” and the introduction of a more “proportionate” assurance regime.

A single outcomes framework for health, public health and social care to allow CCGs to deal with long term health issues has also been requested. This concurs with requests from the King’s Fund and Health Foundation earlier this month.

Dr Doyle said: “No one underestimates the challenge of transforming our health services but CCGs are more than capable of undertaking this task.

“To do so, however, we must be allowed to focus on our role of transforming health services for our local people, rather than being diverted by narrow short term priorities imposed from the centre, as is currently the case.

“CCGs as local clinical leaders need the support and resources to allow them to develop the commissioning role as it becomes increasingly diverse and sophisticated.”

The document, produced in collaboration by leaders from 24 CCGs, adds that local commissioners need “meaning, targeted support” to help them succeed.

It states: “[We need a] real recognition that diverse geographies need diverse local solutions and that a one size fits all model will not work.

“While national government may set out the principles, they should not dictate policy, leaving CCGs to choose the best healthcare for their local populations.”

NHS England was asked to comment, but did not.

Clinical commissioners attack 'oppressive' regulatory regime