Steering towards strategic commissioning: transforming the system

This publication sets out CCGs’ vision for the future and what they need to get there at pace so they can deliver more for patients.

25 September 2017

Read Steering towards strategic commissioning External link icon

Clinical commissioners are playing a key role as architects of the changing health and care landscape. This publication sets out CCGs’ vision for the future and what they need to get there at pace so they can deliver more for patients.

Steering towards strategic commissioning shows there is a strong belief that healthcare commissioning must continue to be clinically led, operate at a scale larger than a CCG footprint, retain its purchasing function and remain accountable to the local population.

The analysis, which was informed by a survey and interviews with CCG leaders, shows that CCGs are embracing change, with 77 per cent of those surveyed intending to contract for a new care model in 2017/18, and 72 per cent planning on increasing their collaborative commissioning.

The four main ways in which the landscape is developing are:

CCGs operating across larger footprints as strategic health commissioners using STPs as a key vehicle for delivery;

integration of healthcare commissioning with local authorities;

developing an accountable care system;

developing integrated delivery models such as accountable care organisations.

The analysis reveals a number of challenges that CCG leaders are facing as the system evolves. To tackle these and support CCGs in the future commissioning landscape NHSCC has identified six asks for national stakeholders.

One of these asks is around increasing sharing of best practice, with a very clear appetite for this with more than 90 per cent of those surveyed actively looking for early lessons from the new care models.

The other key asks identified are:

National clarity on the direction of travel

Support for clinical commissioning leaders to manage change

Time, resource and space to transform

Support with capabilities to support strategic commissioning, with key skills and tools needed identified as data gathering and analysis, predictive modelling, succession planning and organisational development.

An improved regulatory framework, that is one system, mirroring the situation on the ground with the development of ACOs and ACSs.

The findings in Steering towards strategic commissioning come from a research project commissioned by NHSCC and undertaken by Thesis 11 Ltd. This was informed by survey results from 34 CCG leaders covering 43 CCGs (21%) and 14 in-depth interviews with CCG leaders