The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA 2012) introduced major changes into the commissioning system for the English NHS in 2013. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) were replaced with Clinical Commissioning Groups, clinically-led statutory bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. A new arms-length body, NHS England (NHSE), was established with responsibility for overseeing the work of CCGs. Commissioning responsibilities for local populations are now divided between CCGs, local authorities and NHSE. Since the HSCA 2012 took effect, there have been several
important policy developments, which affect the ‘new commissioning system’.
In 2014, The Five Year Forward View (5YFV) focussed on how organisations in the NHS need to cooperate with each other, and form new configurations known as ‘new care models’ (NCMs), the first wave of which have been designated ‘Vanguards’. There are also other organisational and service delivery changes being implemented across the country, designed to improve the integration of care. These changes take a range of forms including both horizontal and vertical integration.
In 2015, the relevant NHS national bodies issued a further policy document introducing the concept of local cooperative, place based planning, initially known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans and from March 2017 Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). Despite these developments, there have been no relevant legislative changes, so the HSCA 2012 provisions concerning the respective roles of NHS commissioning organisations and the regulatory framework in respect of both procurement and provider competition remain in force. There is now a more complex local landscape of organisations all of which need to be involved in the planning of local services; and CCGs need to be able to find ways to engage with them effectively. This project investigated the initial stages of this process.
The questions addressed by the research were:
- How are CCG internal processes of decision making changing?
- What is the role of the individual CCG in the current commissioning landscape?
- How is accountability maintained by CCGs in the current commissioning landscape?
- How is competition and the current pricing regime relevant to CCGs’ commissioning decisions?
- How should commissioning develop?
Download the full report [pdf]>>
Since the establishment of PRUComm in 2011 our research has focused on examining how the changes to the English NHS and public health system have developed. We continue to examine the development of CCGs and the new commissioning structures. We have also been exploring the mechanisms by which commissioning is undertaken, such as contracting and the use of competition and cooperation within the new system.
While most media attention has focused on changes to the commissioning and delivery of healthcare, the shift of public health to local authorities was a major part of the reforms introduced in April 2013. We have examined the progress and developments in the public health system with a particular emphasis on how governance and organisational structures develop and whether being embedded within local councils changes the way that public health services are provided. We have also been focusing on primary and community health care with recent projects examining general practice – including methods of funding primary care; research on recruitment and retention; QOF, scaling up primary care and running and analysing two rounds of the GP WorkLife survey (eight and nine).
Our research on CCGs has most recently focused on primary care co-commissioning and new forms of contracting, such as outcomes-based and alliancing. Given the increasing policy emphasis on this area of healthcare we anticipate that we will be increasingly involved in further research on primary and community healthcare. All these topics will be explored in today’s seminar with presentations by researchers from PRUComm.
Programme and speakers biographies [pdf]>>
9.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 – Welcome and introduction: Professor Stephen Peckham (Director PRUComm).
10.00 – 10.25 Jonathan Walden: (Commissioning Policy Lead): Policy update – Department of Health and Social Care priorities. Slides [pdf]>>
10.25– 11.00 Dr Lindsay Forbes: Incentivising GPs: Review of the Quality and Outcomes Framework in England. Slides [pdf]>>
11.00 – 11.20 Coffee
11.20 – 12.00 Dr Jon Gibson and Prof Kath Checkland: Satisfaction, sources of stress and intentions to quit amongst GPs in England: the results of the 9th GP Worklife survey
12.00 – 12.40 Dr Marie Sanderson: Examining the implementation of new models of contracting in the NHS: what are the lessons for the formation of Accountable Care Systems?
12.40 – 13.20 Lunch
13.20 – 14.00 Dr Valerie Moran: How are CCGs managing conflicts of interest when they commission primary care? Lessons for Accountable Care. Slides [pdf]>>
14.00 – 15.50 Panel Discussion – STPs, and ACS’s the re-emergence of planning?
15.50 – 16.00 Professor Stephen Peckham: Current PRUComm research programme
Posted in CCG, Commissioning, Competition & cooperation, Contracting, Deputy Director of PRUComm, Director of PRUComm, Public Health, Seminar, Stephen Peckham
Tagged alliance contracting, CCG, CCGs, co-commissioning, commissioning, Competition, Contracting, Cooperation, England, FYFV, GP, HSCA2012, new care model, new models of care, NHS, planning, policy, policy-making, primary care, PRUComm, Public Health, QOF, Quality, STP
In 2016 we reported our research on NHS commissioners’ and providers’ understandings and use the rules on competition, and our investigation of how commissioners used competitive and cooperative commissioning mechanisms at local level from 2013 to 2015. Since 2015, when the last phase of field work was undertaken, the legal framework governing the procurement of clinical services has not changed. The generally pro-competitive provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA 2012) remain in force. In addition, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) came into force in April 2016 introducing further requirements in respect of competitive procurement. Despite no substantive changes in the legislation governing procurement processes, since 2015 there has been a considerable national policy shift towards cooperative methods of commissioning.
Firstly, the ‘Five Year Forward View’ (5YFV) published by the NHS England (NHSE) in October 2014 instigated a number of the New Models of Care (NMC) vanguard sites. Many of these involved the merger or at least closer cooperation of a range of NHS organisations. This view was reinforced by the national planning guidance issued in late 2015 (Delivering the Forward View: NHS Planning Guidance 2016/17-2020/21). This document stated that the NHS should concentrate on local, placed based planning to be achieved by cooperation between local stakeholders. The plans were to be called ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’, and the groups of organisations were named ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ (STPs). These cooperative modes of coordination were regarded as the preferable (and in fact, mandated) method by which health services would be planned and commissioned. Lastly, the notion of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) or Systems (ACSs) was introduced in 2017. These were seen as natural successors to STPs under which NHS organisations would either merge formally or work in close cooperation. In the light of these policy developments there was a need to investigate the way in which local commissioners and providers managed the interplay between cooperation and competition in commissioning clinical services.
The aims of this stage of the field work remained the same as those of the initial study. The project aimed to investigate how commissioners in local health systems managed the interplay of competition and cooperation in their local health economies, looking at acute and community health services (CHS).
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To find out if NHS culture is changing, our research investigated the views of managers about competition in the NHS after the enactment of the HSCA 2012 to examine the extent to which marketisation has become an internalised feature of NHS commissioning practices, and explore how far this is actually changing the NHS in any fundamental way. We found that managers remain committed to collaboration, but pockets of competitive thinking are present.
Read Pauline Allen’s blog on LSE Business Review>>
Objective The Health and Social Care Act 2012 (‘HSCA 2012’) introduced a new, statutory, form of regulation of competition into the National Health Service (NHS), while at the same time recognising that cooperation was necessary. NHS England’s policy document, The Five Year Forward View (‘5YFV’) of 2014 placed less emphasis on competition without altering the legislation. We explored how commissioners and providers understand the complex regulatory framework, and how they behave in relation to competition and cooperation.
Design We carried out detailed case studies in four clinical commissioning groups, using interviews and documentary analysis to explore the commissioners’ and providers’ understanding and experience of competition and cooperation.
Setting/participants We conducted 42 interviews with senior managers in commissioning organisations and senior managers in NHS and independent provider organisations (acute and community services).
Results Neither commissioners nor providers fully understand the regulatory regime in respect of competition in the NHS, and have not found that the regulatory authorities have provided adequate guidance. Despite the HSCA 2012 promoting competition, commissioners chose mainly to use collaborative strategies to effect major service reconfigurations, which is endorsed as a suitable approach by providers. Nevertheless, commissioners are using competitive tendering in respect of more peripheral services in order to improve quality of care and value for money.
Conclusions Commissioners regard the use of competition and cooperation as appropriate in the NHS currently, although collaborative strategies appear more helpful in respect of large-scale changes. However, the current regulatory framework contained in the HSCA 2012, particularly since the publication of the 5YFV, is not clear. Better guidance should be issued by the regulatory authorities.
Link to the BMJ Open article>>
Posted in CCG, Commissioning, Competition & cooperation, Deputy Director of PRUComm, Publications
Tagged commissioning, Competition, Cooperation, FYFV, HSCA2012, NHS, provider
This is the fourth annual review of our research and provides a brief overview of our current research activities.
Download PRUComm research review [pdf]>>
Since the beginning of the 1990s the public healthcare system in England has been subject to reforms. This has resulted in a structurally hybrid system of public service with elements of the market. Utilizing a theory of new institutionalism, this article explores National Health Service (NHS) managers’ views on competition and cooperation as mechanisms for commissioning health services. We interrogate the extent of institutional change in the NHS by examining managers’ understanding of the formal rules, normative positions and frameworks for action under the regime of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Interviews with managers showed an overall preference for cooperative approaches, but also evidence of marketization in the normative outlook and actions. This suggests that hybridity in the NHS has already spread from structure and rules to other institutional pillars. The study showed that managers were adept at navigating the complex policy environment despite its inherent contradictions.
Link to the paper>>
Following several versions of the NHS quasi market since 1990, a wide ranging set of reforms was introduced into the NHS under the recent Coalition government by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA 2012). The idea behind these is the same as that behind previous versions of the NHS quasi market: that competition between a wider range of providers will produce the desired results of improved quality and greater efficiency. The HSCA 2012 made a direct correlation between competitive behaviour in the NHS and competition law. The Procurement, Choice and Competition Regulations No.2 2013 relate to sections 75-77 and 304 (9) and (10) of the HSCA 2012, and indicate that competitive procurement by commissioners is to be preferred, although not in all circumstances. Monitor (the former NHS Foundation Trust regulator) took on the role of economic regulator for the whole of the NHS. Along with the national competition authorities (being, since April 2014 the Competition and Markets Authority, and prior to that, The Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission), has powers to enforce competition law to prevent anti-competitive behaviour.
At the same time, it is still necessary for providers of care to cooperate with each other in order to deliver high quality care. There are many aspects of care quality where cooperation is needed, such as continuity of care as patients move between organisations, and sharing of knowledge between clinicians. Monitor is also responsible for promoting co-operation. It is the role of NHS commissioners (including Clinical Commissioning Groups ‘CCGs’), however, to ensure that the appropriate levels of competition and cooperation exist in their local health economies.
During the course of this study, an important policy document, The Five Year Forward View (5YFV) was published by NHS England in October 2014. This did not mention competition between organisations and instead focussed on how organisations in the NHS need to cooperate with each other, and in fact at times merge to form larger organisations. And it should be noted that there have been no relevant legislative changes, so the HSCA 2012 remains in force. While studies have noted that incentives for competition and cooperation exist in healthcare, few have researched the interaction between the two. There was a need to investigate the way in which local health systems were managed to ensure that cooperative behaviour was appropriately coexisting with competition.
This project aimed to investigate how commissioners in local health systems managed the interplay of competition and cooperation in their local health economies, looking at acute and community health services (CH).
Download final report [pdf]>>
Download appendix [pdf]>>
Posted in CCG, Commissioning, Competition & cooperation, Publications
Tagged CCGs, commissioning, Competition, Cooperation, FYFV, HSCA, NHS, Procurement