THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE BILL 2012

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 concluded its 15 month passage through Parliament on 20th March 2012, receiving Royal Assent on 27th March 2012. Click here to view the Bill.

NEW COMMISSIONING STRUCTURES

THE NHS COMMISSIONING BOARD (NHSCB): an independent Board accountable to the Secretary of State for Health for the running of the NHS. The NHSCB will have a national, local and regional structure and will have responsibility for commissioning of Primary Care and some specialist services. It will hold established CCGs to account.

NHSCB Regional Sectors: There will be four regional NHSCB sectors - North, Midlands and East, South and London. Norfolk and Waveney will be part of the Midlands and East cluster.

NHSCB Local Area Teams (LAT): There will be 50 local offices. The LAT covering Norfolk and Waveney will also cover Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. 

CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUPS (CCGs): CCGs, formed from member GP practices, will take responsibility for the commissioning of local services in April 2013. In Norfolk and Waveney there are 5 CCGs – Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North Norfolk, Norwich, South Norfolk and West Norfolk. Norfolk and Waveney LMC is working closely with the local CCGs and all five have signed up to its 'Memorandum of Understanding' which builds upon previous relationships and clarifies each bodies respective roles in relation to practices. This is hoped to ensure local GPs are appropriately represented and the LMC is involved in all negotiations that could impact on the GP contract, or delivery of service. 

COMMISSIONING SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS (CSO): GPs and other clinicians involved in CCGs will need support to commission effectively. Commissioning Support encompasses a range of functions, from transactional services such as payroll and IT services, to equipping CCGs with the complex population level data required to inform commissioning decisions. PCT Clusters are currently developing CSOs, to be hosted by the NHSCB until 2016. CCGs may choose to host their own, internal support services, or contract from the PCT Cluster developed bodies, private or third sector organisations. 

LOCAL AUTHORITIES: The Health and Social Care Act 2012 grants local authorities responsibilities for Public Health and stipulates that they must employ a Director of Public Health. The local authority must have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State for Health in relation to its Director of Public Health, including guidance on appointment, termination of appointment and terms and conditions of management. Local Authorities will commission HealthWatch.

Health and Wellbeing Boards: Health and Wellbeing Boards will be established in each upper tier Local Authority to promote integrated working across health and social care. With representatives from Local Authorities, Health and Social Care, Public Health and Patient Groups, Health and Wellbeing boards will produce the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy identifying local priorities for commissioners. 

HealthWatch: New patient and public bodies, known as local HealthWatch will be established. Local HealthWatch will act as a point of contact for individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations when dealing with Health and Social Care and will have a representative seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board. HealthWatch will be commissioned by the local authority and held to account by the local authority’s overview and scrutiny committee.

CLINICAL NETWORKS AND CLINICAL SENATES: Clinical Networks and Senates will provide a multi-professional clinical advice to CCGs and the NHSCB. Not much detail is known about the roles and responsibilities of networks and senates. It is expected that there will be approximately 14 Senates and Networks will be an extension of existing condition-focused networks.

 

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