Recommendation 136

Commissioners acting for their public

Commissioners need to be recognisable public bodies, visibly acting on behalf of the public they serve and with a sufficient infrastructure of technical support. Effective local commissioning can only work with effective local monitoring, and that cannot be done without knowledgeable and skilled local personnel engaging with an informed public.
  • NHS England will support and assure clinical commissioning groups to be recognisable, visible local bodies.The National Health Service (Clinical Commissioning Groups) Regulations 2012 already require that Clinical Commissioning Groups’ names reflect their local community, so that they are recognisable and have a clear link to their locality.Clinical commissioning groups demonstrate their accountability to their members, local people, stakeholders and NHS England in a number of ways, including by:
  • publishing their constitution
  • appointing independent lay members and non GP clinicians to the governing body
  • holding meetings of the governing body in public
  • publishing annually a commissioning plan
  • complying with local authority health overview and scrutiny requirements
  • meeting annually in public to publish and present its annual report (which must be published
  • producing annual accounts in respect of each financial year which must be externally audited
  • having a published and clear complaints process
  • complying with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • providing information to NHS England as required

Commissioning support services have been developed to provide the infrastructure of technical support that clinical commissioning groups require. Commissioning support services typically include:

  • Health Needs Assessment
  • business intelligence
  • support for redesign
  • communications and public and patient engagement
  • procurement and market management (agreeing contracts)
  • provider management (monitoring contracts)

These services underpin the effective local monitoring required to support clinical commissioning groups be effective, visible and well engaged local commissioners.

No further update is required. Please see response to the recommendation above