New ‘CQC style’ rating system for CCGs may be delayed

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Jeremy Hunt’s plans to introduce a new rating system for CCGs may be pushed back further than June 2016 according to a paper drawn up by NHS England. The paper suggests that introduction of the ratings system should be pushed back to 2017 but gives no specific date when this should occur.

The plans when adopted would see each CCG rated in 6 key areas (cancer; dementia; learning disabilities; diabetes; mental health; and maternity) against which they will be awarded a rating of ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’.

The health secretary asked the King’s Fund for advice on the rating scheme and it advised against aggregating scores in a manner similar to the way that the CQC does currently; instead it advised in favour of a less ‘data-based’ assessment of the performance of a CCG. Hunt followed these recommendations and stated that independent expert committees would make the final judgement in relation to CCG’s ratings. Chairs have been appointed in all areas but for maternity at present.

At present CCGs are not given overall ratings but are rated across a whole host of clinical information in relation to how much they have improved outcomes, but this is not easily digestible by the public at large. To combat this the intention is to rate CCGs under the new framework in place at some point in 2017. The reason for the introduction of the new framework is to increase the amount of accountability CCGs have to the public. They wield a great deal of power planning and commissioning health care services in the local area for which they are responsible.

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