Commissioning

We work together with patients and GP practices to ensure the right NHS services are in place to support our population’s health and wellbeing. We call this commissioning. 

We have a duty to secure continuous improvement in the quality and safety of all services commissioned for our populations. 

In this section of the website you will find details of the health care providers we hold a contract with, how we hold them to account, performance data and proposed service changes.  

NHS Wakefield CCG uses the Commissioning Cycle as a framework to link internal business processes together across the organisation. There is a handbook that provides the tools to take changes to commissioned services through a standardised approach from concept to delivery.

Key outcomes of this approach are:

• A transparent framework which is simple, easy to navigate and understand.

• Commitment to streamlining ways of working to enable implementation of the strategic objectives of the organisation.

• A live dynamic resource which is regularly updated and reviewed.

• Robust consideration and evaluation of the need for change, thorough development of proposals, timely decision-making, efficient tendering and contracting to deliver the change, on to subsequent monitoring of its delivery and impact.

In this way, the CCG is focusing on improving the quality of healthcare, committed to an evidence-based approach to commissioning and engaging patients and the public, clinicians and commissioners in strategic planning and service design.

How we hold providers to account

The CCG is responsible for planning and buying (commissioning) local healthcare services. The services we buy are:

  • Hospital services
  • Mental health services
  • GP services
  • Community services
  • Some voluntary community sector services
  • Some nursing home beds

There are individual organisations that provide these services. The main providers in Wakefield District are:

  • Our 37 GP practices
  • The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust (acute and community)
  • South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – mental health and learning disability

Wakefield Council is responsible for commissioning social care services and public health but we work closely together in many ways for example children’s services.

We find out what engagement work the different organisations are doing and we work together as much as possible. We also take action based on the engagement feedback we get from people who use the services we commission. 

One example is making sure practice populations are engaged when there are changes in a GP surgery.  A recent example Prospect Surgery and Church Street Surgery Proposed Merger (section 6 in the paper).  We have also been out to some individual primary care networks and have delivered this training Involving Patients and the Public.

Here is an example of a local patient, Chris, talking about his experience of being involved in the procurement process for adult hearing loss services in Wakefield and sharing his story of adult hearing loss and how that has impacted on his life.

When providers want to make a change to a service, they should let the commissioners know.  We then ask about their plans to involve patients in their changes and either get involved as commissioners where that is appropriate, or ask to see the engagement reports before any decisions are made.  

Here are some of examples of when that might happen:

  • GP practices wanting to change their services, e.g. closing a branch surgery - we would ask the practice to undertake a period of engagement.  Engagement and equality colleagues are always happy to support this work if practices don't have the expertise and skills.  This might include attending Overview and Scrutiny Committee with colleagues.
  • Changing the location of a service - for example, decreasing the number of clinics in the community to ensure quality of service – both the CCG and providers engaged with patients and carers to gain their views.
  • Services changing the way they work - e.g. maternity services working differently.  We asked to see their Quality and Equality Impact Assessment and agreed an engagement plan.

Our Quality and Safety team and our Equality Lead are really important in this as they will hear about changes through quality review meetings with providers.  We work closely with them to make sure the CCG is asking the right questions about any potential downsides for the change, focusing most on those people who will find it hardest to access our services.