• “Commissioning executive” covering seven CCGs to be set up to help commission services across Buckingham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire STP
  • Mental health, ambulance services and 111 will be under board’s new remit
  • The executive will also be asked to sign off a single operating plan to cover STP footprint

A new commissioning executive is to be formed to overcome the “significant challenge” of commissioning across a sustainability and transformation plan footprint in the East of England, and will take powers from seven clinical commissioning groups.

Revealed in a paper for Oxfordshire CCG’s September board meeting, the new executive will span the CCGs in the Buckingham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire STP. The paper said it was hoped “collective leadership” would secure “better value” from resources and “ensure delivery” of the STP.

The seven CCGs that will be involved in the new executive are:

  • Aylesbury Vale;
  • Chiltern;
  • Oxfordshire;
  • North and West Reading;
  • South Reading;
  • Newbury and District; and
  • Wokingham.

Commissioning of ambulance services, NHS 111 contracts, specialised commissioning, prescribing, and mental health and acute services will come under the remit of the new board. The paper said other services are to be “commissioned together over time”. For mental health, the region will create a “single commissioning function” that will commission services across the seven CCGs.

The paper said the “majority” of services will still be commissioned by individual CCGs but recognised there was “legitimate concern” that CCG board members will feel the new committee may “remove local control”.

The committee will also be responsible for “signing off” a single operating plan for the entire STP footprint, which would be in place of the three existing operating plans currently in place. Oxfordshire CCG did not respond to HSJ’s request for further information about the intentions for an STP-wide operating plan.

A representative from each CCG will be given “delegated powers” to make decisions on behalf of their group, but the paper said “the committee itself cannot have delegated decision making authority”. It recognises the limitations this may pose should a collective “consensus” not be reached and said any “conflict” arising needed to be resolved through “discussion and negotiation”. No individual will have the power of veto.

The committee is expected to be made up of: three accountable officers; three chairs that span Buckingham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West; and directors from each group of CCGs covering finance, strategy and performance.