DoH issues draft CCG ‘roadmap’
The Department of Health (DoH) has issued a draft "roadmap" for the development and authorisation of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which it has sent to primary care and other groups for feedback.
The document, Developing clinical commissioning groups: Towards authorisation, defines six key competency domains that CCGs will have to meet in order to be handed full control of NHS commissioning budgets.
The guidance states that emerging CCGs should undergo initial risk-assessment as early as October and no later than December 2011. This should set out their size, shape and fitness to take on commissioning functions, with the resulting configuration being assigned a "red", amber" or "green" rating.
By April 2013, all of England will need to covered by established CCGs, the document states. A final risk assessment will be conducted prior to authorisation, with the NHS Commissioning Board taking the ultimate decision on configuration.
This will take into account the results of a "360 degree assessment" that considers the views of stakeholders, the document says.
Successful CCGs can become statutory bodies from October 2012.
Commenting on the draft, a DoH spokeswoman said: "CCGs are at the heart of our NHS modernisation plans. This initial thinking, which has been developed by a range of stakeholders, represents our preliminary proposals for authorising CCGs.
"This will support emerging CCGs in their development and enable them to be as prepared as possible for authorisation as well as taking on responsibility for healthcare budgets and improving services for their local communities."
The draft document is available via the Health Service Journal website.
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By Joanna Lyford