The NHSE’s paper on Commissioning Intentions 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 For Prescribed Specialised Services (22 September 2016)
(This document accompanies the NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2017-19 issued in the same day.)
Its general purpose is to set out the ways by which NHSE can improve commissioning and contracts as well as review and transform specialised services.
Much of what the document puts forward is already in place or announced, but some points are worth noting.
Although NHSE has set overall financial spending targets for NHS providers to address their deficits (aiming for a balancing starting position for 2017/18), no specific targets have been set for specialised services.
Instead there is a general statement that “Specialised services make up over 15% of the NHS spending, and judicious stewardship will be crucial to meeting the financial challenges facing the NHS, both nationally and locally.” (p 9)
Transfer of responsibilities
For contracts agreed for April 2017 NHS England is not intending to transfer commissioning responsibilities and budgets for any of the 149 services to CCGs. However Appendix B (p 49-50) sets out a long list of the services that might be most appropriate for locally-led commissioning.
During the next two years a review of cancer services will be completed to enable the development of innovative new care models and strengthened provider networks. The review will include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cancer surgery, children and young person’s cancer services and a second phase of PET CT scan. (p 11)
NHSE will remain the contracting body for all patients across England treated for services within the scope of specialised commissioning for contracts awarded from April 2017. (p17)