Primary care, New Care Models and STPs roundup

Hempsons is pleased to bring you the latest in its series of news updates on primary care, new care models, STPs and integration.

1. New GP contract revealed

NHS England, the Government, and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee have reached agreement on changes to the general practice contract in England.

The new agreement includes an increased focus on some of the most vulnerable, with tailored annual reviews offered to frail pensioners, and an increase in the number of health checks for people with learning disabilities.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “We’re now turning the corner on a decade of underinvestment in GP services, but with new cash clearly tied to new ways of working that both improve patient care and support family doctors. While this new national contract is just one piece of the jigsaw, it’s another concrete step towards more convenient appointments for patients and more time for GPs to look after frail older people.”

See the new contract on NHS England’s website

2. Pioneering ‘Accountable Care Organisation’ (ACO) delayed

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s plans to set up an “accountable care organisation” has been delayed. Originally planned to go live in April 2017, the ACO plans to take on the budgets for all services except core primary care for a population of about 320,000. Board papers from Northumberland CCG reveal a “number of milestones” still need to be achieved and no date has been given for when the ACO will now launch.

A number of ACOs are now developing in the NHS – watch this space for news on them during 2017.

For information about ACOs in the NHS please see our introduction in our Integrated Resource Centre.

Read in full on the HSJ website

3. STPs will get ‘decision rights’ to reorganise trusts and CCGs

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens told the body’s board meeting the STPs were “here to stay” and the Five Year Forward View delivery plan, due next month, would “beef up the implementation capability which exists at STP level”.

Mr Stevens said the delivery plan will propose STPs are given “decision rights”, “not only over many of our activities, but also the ability to recommend changes to the configuration or governance of constituent statutory organisations in those geographies where the STP believe that veto power or inertia is getting in the way of the bigger strategic change agenda, which is required in that part of the country”.

This raises interesting governance issues, which are addressed in the report we have launched in partnership with NHS Providers, Governing for transformation: STPs and governance.

Read our STP governance guide here

4. Integrated commissioning

Integrated commissioning arrangements are increasingly being seen as a mechanism for improving coordination of decision-making by multiple commissioners. This may take the form of integrated commissioning between multiple CCGs or between CCGs and local authorities. By way of example:

1. HSJ reports that two clinical commissioning groups are aiming to merge within weeks, marking the end of a three year moratorium and potentially the beginning of a wave of consolidation. Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCGs, both in Buckinghamshire, have applied to NHS England merge at the beginning of 2017-18.

2. HSJ also report that five north London clinical commissioning groups have appointed a single chief officer to cover their entire sustainability and transformation footprint. Helen Pettersen, a former commissioning support unit managing director, has been named as the chief officer for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington CCGs.

There are numerous other examples too. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the legal and governance implications of integrated commissioning.

Read more on the proposed CCG merger here

Read more on the five north London CCGs here

5. Dalton: Ten ways to speed up the Forward View

One of the NHS’s most influential chief executives, Sir David Dalton, has written a helpful commentary piece in HSJ identifying ten priorities to speed up delivery of the Five Year Forward View. He says that despite good work on integration and new models of care, it is taking too long to deliver improvements. Amongst his suggestions to speed up delivery are a series of policy changes including abolishing national access targets, mergers of CCGs, new provider governance arrangements and investment in ‘digital’.

Read full article on HSJ’s website

6. Integration Resource Centre

Hempsons’ Integration Resource Centre contains a series of articles and in-depth reports on new care models, integration, STPs and governance.

Have a browse through the available topics and contact us if you have any questions.

Go to the Integration Resource Centre

We hope you found something of interest in our roundup. For more information on how any of the issues may affect your organisation, please contact us.