NHS health care commissioners given greater responsibility for primary care in Wiltshire 

The commissioning of elements of primary care in Wiltshire may soon be the responsibility of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, as its expression of interest to embark on joint commissioning in conjunction with NHS England, who manage GP contracts nationally, has been approved.

Pending full approval by Wiltshire CCG’s Governing Body on 24 March 2015, Wiltshire CCG will have the opportunity to further improve primary care services locally for the benefit of patients and local communities by entering into joint commissioning arrangements with NHS England. By tailoring services to meet the needs of Wiltshire residents, the CCG is better placed to deliver its commitment to provide high quality healthcare to all and to keep more people out of hospital and in their own homes.

Deborah Fielding, Chief Officer at Wiltshire CCG comments: “This is a real opportunity for us to ensure that we use our additional responsibilities for the benefit of Wiltshire residents. By working with NHS England we can ensure that primary care services throughout Wiltshire are aligned to our strategic goals and provide the best possible care to people in Wiltshire.

“Given the impact primary health care has on our population, this is a positive move designed to align standards of care right across the county and to focus on delivering the right services, in the right place.”

Jo Cullen, Group Director and leading on Primary Care for Wiltshire CCG said: “Co-commissioning will allow us to deliver our vision to support extended primary care teams which are aligned to community teams, mental health and social care provision. By delivering services in this way we can ensure better integration of health and care services and a more joined-up, seamless approach for patients.”

Wiltshire CCG is one of 87 CCGs across the country to have been approved for joint commissioning subject to constitutional amendments. Wiltshire CCG will take on this additional responsibility from 1 April 2015, pending formal approval on 24 March 2015.

New patient transport service for Wiltshire

There will be a new provider of non-emergency patient transport services for Wiltshire from later this year. Following a thorough procurement process, Arriva Transport Solutions has been selected as the preferred bidder to run services across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire and Swindon.

Currently the non-emergency patient transport service is being provided by a number of private and NHS transport service organisations. The retendered contact will be provided by one organisation with a clear strategy for the provision of a tailored, high quality service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new provider will operate a single point of contact designated telephone number to enable patients and health representatives to book the transport quickly and receive advice and support about non-emergency patient transportation. Through the use of modern technology and systems, the service will be able to manage demand for patient transport efficiently and will co-ordinate and provide journeys in and out of the county.

The service will offer flexibility to respond to changing needs e.g. new healthcare locations, on the day requests and flexible times for pick up and returning home including evenings and weekends.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Officer, Deborah Fielding said,

“Providing eligible patients with the best patient transport service which can meet their medical and mobility needs is extremely important to us as a Clinical Commissioning Group. We want patients in Wiltshire to experience safe, timely, clean and comfortable transport. Subject to contract, there will be one organisation responsible for co-ordinating all non-emergency patient transport and this should help to deliver a consistent and joined up service for all our patients who need advice about transport or need to be taken to their appointments.”


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