The Commissioning Review revealed that an investigation was opened last week by sector regulator Monitor into whether two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been unfair in the commissioning of routine care. 

CCGs Review

Blackpool CCG and Fylde and Wyre CCG have been accused of disadvantaging patients, inconsistent to the NHS competition rules which came into force in April 2013. They will be looking at whether people were disadvantaged by the way non-emergency hospital services were purchased in the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre area of Lancashire.

Monitor will gather evidence from the complainants – Spire Healthcare – and the two CCGs involved before deciding how to proceed. Spire Healthcare claims that patients were directed away from the Spire Fylde Coast Hospital and towards Blackpool Victoria Hospital, in a move that is not in the patients’ benefit. Monitor will examine arrangements made by these two CCG’s to purchase planned care and to offer patients choice.

Catherine Davies, executive director of co-operation and competition at Monitor said: “The investigation is at an early stage and Monitor has not yet reached a view as to whether there has been any breach of the rules. We are now seeking further information from the organisations involved. If we find that a breach has occurred we will investigate whether patient interests have been negatively affected by these decisions.”

As a national provider of care at home services that offer people full choice and control over their care at home and who they wish to be their personal assistants HomeCareDirect work closely with many CCG’s around the country trying to let people know about the Middle Way of working and the opportunities personal health budgets can bring to people with complex health needs.  We have found that there are big difference in how many of the CCG’s work and hope that this investigation by Monitor will lead to a bit more of a consistent approach across the country.

It will be interesting to see how this investigation progresses, if you’d like to share your thoughts with us please get in touch here.