Frequently asked questions
The transition to clinical commissioning was a huge task. The work continues as CCGs settle into their new role and move forward with commissioning. We have drawn together answers to a wide range of questions that we are frequently asked about the reforms and their legal implications. The questions are grouped into the categories listed below – to view the answers, click on the relevant category heading.
- What contracting skills do CCGs need?
- What contract terms should CCGs use to commission services?
- Where can I find a copy of the standard NHS contract?
- Why is the service specification so important?
- What are “KPIs”?
- Do competition rules apply to commissioners?
- What are the competition rules?
- What are the risks of non-compliance with competition rules?
> Corporate governance
- How prescriptive are the governance requirements for CCGs?
- What is the role of the Accountable Officer?
- What areas do governance arrangements cover?
- What are the benefits of a good governance structure?
- What are the requirements for a constitution?
> Information governance
- What is information governance?
- Who is responsible for information governance?
- What about data security and patient identifiable data?
- What help is available?
> Local authorities
- Do local authorities play a greater role in co-ordination of healthcare?
- What do health and wellbeing boards do?
- Is joint health and local authority working still being encouraged?
- What is the role and composition of Local Healthwatch?
> Making funding decisions
- Why might there be an increased risk of a postcode lottery now that we have CCGs?
- What risks do CCGs face if clinical commissioning does result in an increased risk of a postcode lottery?
- How can CCGs tackle the issue of there being a postcode lottery?
- Will the proposal that patients can register with a GP away from where they live (and in a different CCG area) mean that we do not need to worry about this issue?
> NHS England
- What is NHS England?
- For which services is it responsible?
- How does NHS England operate?
- What other responsibilities does it have?
- Is it under political control in the same way as the Department of Health?
> Performance management role of CCGs
- Does the performance of member practices affect the CCG?
- Do CCGs hold contracts with their individual GP practices?
- Who is ultimately responsible for contractual compliance by GP practices?
- What is the relationship between CCGs and NHS England?
- What levers do CCGs have if their member practices are underperforming?
- What is the Quality Premium and how will it incentivise CCGs and their member practices?
- What is procurement?
- Do procurement rules apply to CCGs?
- Health care services are “Part B services”. What does that mean?
- We have heard that there are specific new procurement rules about commissioning clinical services - is that right?
- Do CCGs have to run tender processes for all clinical services they commission?
- What are the rules for purchasing non-clinical services?
- What are the benefits of procurement?
- How does “any qualified provider (AQP)" fit in?
- What are the risks of non-compliance with procurement law and policy?
> Public sector duties
- Do CCGs have to work in a particular way because they are statutory bodies?
- Do CCGs have to consult patients and the public about their commissioning decisions?
- Does the Freedom of Information Act 2000 apply to CCGs?
- The Public Sector Equality Duty
- What is judicial review?
- How should CCGs factor their public law duties into their commissioning decisions?
If the answer to your question is not here, please contact us.