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of primary care
Restoring The Balance
Coalition of NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHS CC)
20 April 2012
Today, the Coalition of NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHS CC) warmly welcomes the publication of the Secretary of State’s letter to the Chairman, Professor Malcolm Grant, of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority (NHS CBA). This letter sets out, in unequivocal terms, the Government’s expectations of the Authority and the basis against which Ministers will hold the Authority to account.
As the letter makes clear, the objectives it sets out are about the whole transition stage of developing new commissioning structures up to March 2013, when the full NHS Commissioning Board is established.
The document goes on to indicate that it will hold the NHS CBA to account for its performance against four strategic objectives:
• Transferring power to local organisations;
• Establishing the commissioning landscape;
• Developing specific commissioning and financial capabilities; and
• Developing excellent relationships.
Dr Charles Alessi, a senior member of the NHS CC, commented: ‘We here at NHS CC warmly the welcome the clarity and explicit nature of Andrew Lansley’s letter to the NHS CBA. This document firmly sets out the direction of travel during the transitional stage of the reform agenda, and more importantly, with the emphasis on developing excellent relationships, the cultural and behavioural shift that is required to take place during this period. This represents an important turning point for primary care in general and for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in particular’.
Dr Michael Dixon, another senior member of the NHS CC, went on to say: ‘The letter also puts down a number of critical markers for which the NHS CC Coalition has been actively lobbying Ministers and officials. Importantly, it states that CCGs “will have the freedom to work with whomever they want to in securing support for commissioning health services”. The document further specifies that “Our aim is to move away from top-down management of the NHS to a system where fully authorised CCGs will have.....assumed liberty”. There are other important statements in the letter, but these two are fundamental to the transformation that is to take place over the coming months and years. For the first time, primary care, with its local populations, will be driving the agenda and determining the future of health and social care locally. We are delighted to have arrived at this point, where all [much] seems possible.’
The NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHS CC), a collaboration between the NAPC and NHS Alliance, is the independent voice and champion of clinical commissioning and clinical commissioning groups.