3.24pm: As well as planning guidance, the NHS Commissioning Board has published clinical commissioning groups’ budgets for next year.
1.03pm: BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has published its interview with NHS Commissioning Board chief executive Sir David Nicholson from this morning, focusing on plans to publish health outcomes for particular consultants.
11.56am: Former Downing Street adviser Sean Worth, who now leads work of public service reform for the Policy Exchange think tank, tweets: “Brill news that NHS finally agrees to collect patient feedback data: sml step closer to league tables & comparisons ppl have a right to see”
11.36am: Responding to the planning guidance, NHS Confederation interim policy director Jo Webber said: “It is really encouraging to see the NHS Commissioning Board has listened to the service and produced guidance which is far less prescriptive although no less challenging than similar documents that have gone before it.
“Local commissioners must now take advantage of this and use their knowledge and skill to deliver improvements in their local areas. This will require close working relationships with local organisations across health and social care, making sure that services are joined up to provide the best care for people. The balancing of national and local incentives will be crucial if the system is to make the promise of localism a reality.”
11.31am: The King’s Fund has responded to the planning guidance. Policy director Anna Dixon said: “The planning guidance sets out the NHS Commissioning Board’s ambitions for the NHS in its new form with a focus on outcomes and information. While we welcome these ambitions, some commissioners and providers may find it challenging to fully implement the guidance at a time of unprecedented financial constraint. The emphasis on commissioners working closely with health and wellbeing board colleagues is important if they are to achieve these ambitious national priorities and respond to local need.
“The emphasis on improving transparency and making more data available to patients and commissioners is welcome. To be effective, data should give commissioners useful information; help them hold providers to account and to improve quality. But there are concerns about including other measures, like the friends and family test, which are intuitively appealing as a means to drive improvements are being used to pay for performance.”
11.23am: NHS Clinical Commissioners - which represents more than half of clinical commissioning groups - has responded to the planning guidance.
Its chair Charles Alessi said: “This is a step in the right direction to alter the balance between national and local. We welcome Sir David Nicholson’s commitment to freedom for clinical ownership and leadership. We will hold him to that and look for the Board to now deliver on local freedom.
“But behaviours and interpretation will be crucial. We need to build on lessons from the authorisation process in future development of CCG assurance - this needs to be co-produced with CCGs having a real opportunity to provide learning’s and feedback into the process so it can be truly developmental.
“We value and fully support this being a national health service and as such agree with the need for national targets and measures. Over time however we except the balance to move more towards a focus on local priorities allowing CCGs and their communities to agree on the local priorities which assist in delivering national outcomes.”
10.45am: The NHS Commissioning Board’s decision about the allocation formula for CCGs - and Crispin Dowler’s (@crispindowler) story about it - has provoked a lot of debate. On Twitter, York University professor of health economics Andrew Street (@andrewdstreet) wonders: “Is this the death knell for utilisation based resource allocation?”
10.36am: The British Medical Association has responded highlighting concerns about the quality premium performance bonus for CCGs, and details of publishing consultant level mortality rates.
NHS Commissioning Board council chair Mark Porter said: “Today’s guidance is an extremely ambitious plan for the NHS in England, particularly at this time of major structural change and continuing financial pressure.
“While many of the aims are laudable, new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will have the very real challenge of putting these aspirations into practice.”
10.31am: The Royal College of Surgeons has responded to the planning guidance publication.President Norman Williams said: “We welcome the commitment of the NHS commissioning board to empowering patients by providing more public information about quality of care, particularly outcomes data. However, designing ways to measure the outcomes from across surgery that would give credible and meaningful data is extremely complicated and no one size fits all.
“It is vital that any analysis of surgeons who take on the higher risk patients (such as those with complex health needs like diabetes and respiratory problems) is fair and reflects the complexity of these conditions so as not deter surgeons from treating difficult cases for fear of being penalised.”
7.50am: HSJ Live will later bring further anaylsis of and response to the planning guidance and details of CCGs allocations.
7.48am: The NHS Commissioning Board has today published the first planning guidance for the service. HSJ has detailed coverage in a range of stories:
07.31am: Good morning, today on HSJ Simon Lancaster writes that managers’ metaphor-heavy language is helpful for them but damages the wider workforce by reducing staff to nothing more than nuts and bolts. “The notion of the NHS as a car is so engrained in the minds of NHS leaders they can scarcely speak in any other way,” he says.