Westminster Health Forum

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The future of commissioning health services in England - integration, use of data to support decisions, responding to COVID-19, and priorities for specialised commissioning

September 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***


This conference discuss the future of the commissioning of health services in England.


It will be an opportunity to discuss progress on changes to commissioning that came from the Long Term Plan, which include:


  • reducing the number of CCGs
  • increasing their strategic focus
  • producing greater efficiency in the system

We also expect discussion on how CCGs are adapting to:


  • the development of integrated care systems (ICS) to help to implementation
  • the use of data and population health management to inform decisions at a national and local level
  • further moves to support commissioning that is more integrated and joined up - with local authorities retaining responsibility for commissioning but working with NHS to do so

We are pleased that the agenda includes keynote session with Professor James Kingsland, National Primary Care Home Clinical Director, National Association of Primary Care and Executive Chair, Institute of Healthcare Management; Dr Karen Kirkham, Senior Medical Advisor, Primary Care Provider Transformation, NHS England and NHS Improvement; and Louise Patten, Chief Executive, NHS Clinical Commissioners, as well as contributions from the Family Doctor Association, Gloucestershire CCG, Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, North Central London CCG, PPL, and the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. The chair is Anne Marie Morris MP.


Developments that are relevant to the discussion:


  • The COVID-19 pandemic, with guidance provided by NHS Clinical Commissioners on how CCGs can support their primary care networks and practices in light of COVID-19, as well as the acute sector
  • The NHS Long Term Plan, and its measures for:
    • establishing integrated care systems across by the country by 2021 as one of the key means of delivery
    • the involvement of one CCG per ICS area, which means a considerable decrease in the amount of CCGs across the country, as well as CCGs becoming more lean and strategic
  • CCG mergers that have occurred as a result of efficiency targets for CCGs to reduce their running costs by 20%
  • The recent announcement by NHS England and NHS Confederation of the launch of an expert research centre on health inequalities in BAME communities

The discussion in detail:


The local response to COVID-19


How this is being coordinated by CCGs, looking at areas such as:


  • freeing up capacity for primary care and coping with pressures in the system - including PPE levels
  • managing the impact on patients and supporting their continuing needs
  • the process of getting services and primary care running as normal
  • the role data and analytics in helping plan services and the response to the pandemic

Commissioning specialised services


Next steps for improving the delivery of care for rare diseases, including:


  • allocating long-term funding
  • integrating specialised services with wider pathways of care
  • reducing variation in the quality of services at a local level

Integrated care systems


Assessing progress, looking at:


  • how the drive for efficiencies is being approached, including the use of population health management, integration of standards for patient records, and issues that are emerging
  • what the development of integrated care systems means for CCGs

CCG mergers


How they are being addressed, including:


  • key challenges
  • next steps for strategic working, cost savings, improved performance, and addressing financial challenges

The purchaser-provider split


As the commissioning landscape changes, with developments including:


  • greater collaboration and coordination in commissioning care
  • having different models and systems across the country
  • delivering improved outcomes at place level

Effective service provision


Priorities and best practice in light of the changing landscape of commissioning and the development of integrated care, looking at:


  • How data driven insights and population health management are informing service provision
  • the increased focus on social as well as physical outcomes
  • progress on establishing partnerships and providing an integrated service
  • challenges for aligning delivery in practice with strategic policy priorities

Integrated care systems


Assessing progress, looking at:


  • how the drive for efficiencies is being approached, including the use of population health management, integration of standards for patient records, and issues that are emerging
  • what the development of integrated care systems means for CCGs

Working collaboratively and commissioning public health services


Latest thinking on best practice for:


  • in ways that the NHS and local authorities are working closer together to commission and deliver joined-up services
  • how to reduce regional variation of services

GPs in the commissioning process


How they can be effectively involved, drawing on their experience from first hand interaction with patients, in areas such as:


  • identifying gaps in services and issues with current services
  • redesigning services and improving local health

Tackling health inequalities


How commissioning can work to address key issues identified in the Marmot, as the importance of place is emphasised, including:


  • the increase in the health gap between wealthy and deprived areas
  • the slowing in life expectancy with people spending longer in poor health
  • the role of national guidance and leadership in reducing regional variation in care and access

The agenda:


  • Key issues for the commissioning of health services and opportunities going forward
  • Coordinating the response to COVID-19 and managing challenges left in its wake
  • Utilising data, providing effective delivery, prioritising demand, resilience, and governance through the COVID-19 response
  • Commissioning specialised services and the impact of COVID-19 - funding, care delivery and reducing variation
  • Providing community services during COVID-19 and priorities for effective service provision going forward - using data to support decision making, establishing partnerships and adapting to changes in commissioning
  • CCG mergers - working strategically, cost-saving, performance, and tackling financial challenges
  • Developments in the purchaser-provider split across the changing commissioning landscape
  • Assessing the progress of streamlining, making efficiencies and population health management through the development of integrated care systems
  • Collaborative working and commissioning public health services
  • Priorities for the effective utilisation of GPs in commissioning
  • The future of commissioning - in light of ‘system by default’, learning from COVID-19 and potential legislation
  • Next steps for delivering commissioning for complex need and tackling health inequalities

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.


This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, and officials from DHSC; the Department for International Trade and the National Audit Office.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles