COMMERCIAL: West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group has cancelled its contract for communications and engagement services from its NHS support services provider, and brought the function in-house.

A board paper reveal that the CCG has given notice to its current supplier, NHS South commissioning support unit.

The decision to stop buying the services from the CSU followed a review by the CCG’s head of communications and engagement.

Instead, the CCG will set up its own in house communications and engagement team.

The board papers explained: “As West Hampshire CCG moved to become a statutory organisation, it became clear that communications and engagement was a core services that would be best placed as a directly employed function.

“The CCG was required to give six months’ notice of its intention to withdraw from the service but subsequently negotiated an earlier exit from the contract with the CSU with a revised ‘termination’ date of July.”

Structures for an in-house team are being developed and recruitment will be undertaken on a “staggered basis” to ensure that the cost of setting up the team is not more than the cost of the current service.

Meanwhile, the board paper also announced that the CCG’s executive lead for communications and engagement Simon Goodison has announced he will be resigning from the CCG board in July, to spend more time at his practice.

During the development of plans for commissioning support under the reformed NHS system, NHS national leadership considered establishing a national provider of communications and engagement. However, this was decided against, and several CSUs have begun providing the service to CCGs.