• MCP joint assurance process likely to include three “gateways”
  • To be finalised by mid October
  • Will cover conflict of interest and why MCP has been chosen

Regulators are expected to require proposals for MCPs to pass three tests under a “joint assurance process” before becoming operational, according to governing body paper.

The paper, by Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, says the assurance regime for multi-speciality community providers (MCPs) is still being developed, and due to be finalised by mid-October.

It says: “NHS England, NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission are in the process of developing a single process to test both the case for change in relation to the proposed care model and the capability of the successful MCP bidder to hold the contract.

“This process will include an assessment of how conflicts of interest will be managed and these arrangements will be reviewed as part of the assessment.”

The paper says it is likely to include three “gateways” which are expected to test three areas:

  1. The CCG’s case for change – including testing why the MCP model has been chosen over others, such as a primary and acute care system (PACS).
  2. Whether the contract for the MCP is properly set up and whether the proposed provider is capable of delivering the care model.
  3. Whether it is safe to commence the service.

The CCG’s paper says the CCG will a prior information notice for its MCP contract ahead of a market engagement event this month.

Among the reasons Dudley CCG gives for having chosen an MCP over a PACS are:

  • Local GPs “would regard PACS as an unacceptable ‘takeover’ of primary care”.
  • The “opportunity to redress the balance” between funding of acute and primary/community care.
  • Strong primary care infrastructure in Dudley means the PACs model is not needed to “refresh failing general practice”, as has been the case elsewhere.
  • The “MCP model is designed to respond directly to the issues of a growing frail elderly population with complex needs… This focus would potentially be distracted in an organisation which also has to manage the delivery of acute services.”

NHS England did not want to comment.