Clinical Commissioning Group authorised in Wiltshire

On Thursday 14 March, the NHS Commissioning Board announced that clinicians in Wiltshire have been given the green light to become responsible for planning and securing health services for Wiltshire people.

NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were authorised in the fourth and final wave of authorisations. This means that the CCG has met national set criteria during the assessment process which took place in December last year.

Wiltshire CCG will formally take responsibility for commissioning services from 2nd April 2013, overseeing a budget of approximately £519 million. It has been operating in shadow form since July 2011.

Dr Steve Rowlands, Chair of Wiltshire CCG, said: “This is great news for the CCG and local people. Our member practices and staff have worked hard since July 2011 to be ready to take on our full responsibility for planning and securing health services for local people. We look forward to demonstrating that we can be a highly effective organisation in serving the people of Wiltshire from April 2013”.

Debbie Fielding, Accountable Officer for Wiltshire CCG, said: “the NCB Commissioning Board announcement is a vote of confidence for Wiltshire CCG. We are very grateful to all our clinicians, our partners, members of the public, staff and stakeholders who have helped us to reach this important milestone. It remains our priority that we continue to work together with local communities and with our partners to improve health and health services for people in Wiltshire”.

During the assessment process the CCG was commended for a number of areas of strength and good practice including:

• The unification of Wiltshire, especially as the CCG has developed as three groups in a short time span. Wiltshire CCG has a strong unified centre, whilst maintaining the distinctive characteristics of the 3 Groups, including a degree of financial autonomy. This gives Wiltshire CCG scale and sustainability.

• The approach taken by the CCG to improve patient experience of mental health services and through its work around dementia. The improvement in the timeliness of treatment was highlighted as a particular achievement. The panel noted the CCGs ability to question and challenge data from providers and enact change.

• The approach to commissioning for outcomes on adult placements was particularly effective (A panel member even wanted to know more about it to implement a similar scheme in their home healthcare trust). The CCGs approach to Information Governance and its commitment to sharing information securely.

The panel were also impressed by Wiltshire CCG model for integrated care with the patient at the centre being emphasised as an important aspect, the robust management of the significant work required with the Commissioning Support Unit and the awareness of minority groups and ways in which the CCGs is trying to engage with them.

Authorisation is a rigorous national process with external assurance designed to ensure that the new clinical commissioning groups are ready to take on their statutory role of commissioning health services for patients in their local communities from April 2013. The assessment tests each CCG against a range of criteria and involves a wide range of expert assessors.

Wiltshire CCG is one of 48 CCGs authorised in ‘wave four’ of the process.

Wiltshire CCG will be responsible, from April 2013, for commissioning emergency, urgent care, Including ambulance services and out-of-hours services, and planned care for anyone present in our geographical area.

The areas that the CCG are responsible for include:

• Community Health Services
• Maternity Services
• Elective hospital care (planned care)
• Rehabilitation services
• Urgent and emergency care including A&E, ambulance and out-of-hours services (unplanned care)
• Mental Health services
• Older people’s healthcare services
• Healthcare services for children
• Healthcare services for people with learning disabilities
• Continuing healthcare
• Abortion services
• Infertility services
• Wheelchair services
• Home oxygen services
• Treatment of infectious diseases