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30-05-2012 | General practice | Article

CCG support advice ‘lacking’


NHS Alliance

MedWire News: Most CCGs want more information about the choice of commissioning support services available to them and how best to access them, according to a report commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Coalition.

The survey found 59% want more information on choice of support and 64% want more advice on how to procure their services.

In all, 141 emerging CCGs (out of a total of 212) took part. Just over half said they expected to source most support through NHS commissioning support services, but there was uncertainty over what would happen after the transition period in April 2013. A third (33%) said they wanted to change and 29% that they did not know what support they would be employing after this stage.

The Coalition - a link-up of commissioners from the NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) - said the survey's 66% response rate shows how important commissioning support is to CCGs, although they acknowledge that participation was markedly lower among CCGs in London (41% response rate).

NAPC Chair Dr Charles Alessi said the findings reflected a "consistent" message from CCGs.

Although there are some good examples of support being developed, he said, the fact that a third of CCGs are still unclear where they will source support after authorisation "is a strong indication they wish to explore their options".

"We need to find ways in which we can combine the best of all available commissioning support services - from whichever sector - so that CCGs can access the tools they need to drive the improvements needed for patients," Dr Alessi added.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price