The performance of clinical commissioning groups will be measured by a new set of metrics, Jeremy Hunt told NHS leaders today.

  • CCGs to be measured on five new metrics
  • Jeremy Hunt has asked King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham and NHS England to develop new system
  • Hunt says there is a duty “to step in” where persistent failure is not being addressed

The health secretary said improving efficiency and productivity “doesn’t just stop at the front door of a hospital, it’s also about what happens outside a hospital”.

He has asked King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham to help him and NHS England to develop “transparent metrics” to hold CCGs “accountable for the way they deliver healthcare”.

He said the aim was to move “one step closer towards true outcomes based assessments” and this would be a “patient focused” approach.

Mr Hunt stressed that no final proposals have been made but current plans are to focus on five patient groups:

  • older people;
  • people with long term conditions;
  • people with mental health conditions;
  • mothers and children; and
  • the “generally healthy”.

CCGs will get a colour coded rating for each metric.

Mr Hunt said: “I think it’s very important that we know about the quality of mental health provision in one CCG and whether it’s better than a next door CCG.”

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt said improving efficiency and productivity ‘doesn’t stop at the front door of a hospital’

“It’s not just about the CCG – it’s about the mental health provider, the service offered through GPs, but in the end the CCG holds the cheque book so they are responsible for making it work and if we do this we will truly be one of the first countries in the world to try and understand the quality of whole patient care over a whole patient pathway, where it’s working and where it isn’t working.”

He said this would be “absolutely vital” information to feed into the “intervention regime” for underperforming health economies that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens outlined yesterday.

Mr Hunt continued: “The intention is that we are able to leave you alone if you’re getting lots of green ticks and lots of blue ‘OKs’, but on behalf of patients we have a responsibility to step in if we have persistent failure that is not being addressed.”

The proposals also include a measure of how “resilient” a health economy is, specifically looking at its plans for urgent and emergency care throughout winter, and its “transformation” work beyond the immediate 12 months. The outcomes will be comparable from area to area.

Mr Hunt said: “This is a way… that we can actually move beyond targets as a way of driving change in the NHS, to transparency, to peer review and to learning – becoming a truly learning organisation.”

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