NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) are working in partnership with the other six CCGs in Lancashire to review clinical policies across the region.
The eight CCGs across Lancashire: Lancashire North; East Lancashire; Blackburn with Darwen; West Lancashire; Blackpool; Fylde and Wyre; Chorley and South Ribble; and Greater Preston, agreed the need to review and harmonise a number of their policies.
The CCGs which were formed from abolished Primary Care Trusts, inherited the polices and although most of these were similar, each offered different approaches and rules. The CCGs recognise that this can lead to confusion and potentially unintended differences in services across the area.
In order to ensure that the polices are consistent and offer a fair approach across the county, a working group consisting of representatives from each of the CCGs, along with Public Health Consultants, and other health representatives, have agreed to review and wherever possible develop joint polices across Lancashire. To support these polices the CCGs are reviewing and updating where necessary the agreed set of principles that underpin the current policies. . It should be noted that the CCGs do not expect to completely change the principles which underpin the current policies, but to update them to reflect changes to national guidance.
Samantha Jones, Senior Commissioning Manager for Scheduled Care at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “As a CCG, we are responsible for commissioning a wide range of clinical services, including secondary (hospital), community and mental health services for your area and for paying for those services, for and on behalf of, the local population. In some areas this also includes commissioning GP services.
“We need to ensure this is done in an open, fair and transparent manner but in so doing we must take into account the limited resources we have.
“A set of principles will help the CCG meet its duties and responsibilities and to guide the clinical decisions for treatments that are not covered by overall contracting arrangements.”
For the majority of patients this will mean little or no change to the services they can access, however, for some treatments, such as tonsillectomy and treatment of varicose veins, there may be a change in the service provided but this will be subject to separate engagement on that policy.
Members of the public are invited to attend a public forum to learn more about the Statement of Principles and give their views on them. Comments will be fed back to the CCG and the working group as part of the development process.
The public forums are:
- Wednesday 6 January 10am – 12noon Barbara Castle Way Health Centre, Simmons Street, Blackburn, BB2 1AX
- Wednesday 6 January 2pm – 4pm, St Peters Primary Health Care Centre, Church Street, Burnley, Lancs BB11 2DL
- Wednesday 6 January 6pm – 8pm, Yarnspinners Health Centre, Carr Road, Nelson, BB9 7SR
To book a place, please contact Rashda Iqbal on 01282 644 627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further opportunities will be made available for public involvement and feedback, including surveys and further public forums/focus groups on individual clinical policies (such as cosmetics, IVF, tonsillectomy) as and when they are developed and available for discussion.
More information about this work can be found on both CCG websites at: http://www.eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/current-engagement/policy-harmonisation/