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Low number of CSU offers causes ‘bottleneck’ in CCG authorisation

13 August 2012

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A lack of commissioning support offers from NHS CB hosted CSUs has led to a “bottleneck” in the CCG authorisation process, a senior commissioning enthusiast has said.

Dr Michael Dixon, Chair of the NHS Alliance and a senior figure in the newly-formed NHS Clinical Commissioners organisation, said rather than the “take it or leave it” attitude many CCGs thought they would have towards CSU offers, it has become a question of whether CCGs can find them.

He predicted this lack in offers could push CCGs into looking to the private sector for commissioning support in the future.

“This bottleneck in CCG authorisation we are now seeing caused by a shortage of sellers for commissioning support may very well influence CCGs’ decision on whether to look outside the NHS for commissioning support when the time comes,” said Dr Dixon.

“It is important that if CCGs want to look to privately-owned and run CSUs, they are afforded the flexibility to do so.”

Earlier this month, Management in Practice reported that Dr Joe McGilligan, Chair of EsyDoc CCG in Surrey, which is positioned in wave three of the authorisation process, said while most aspects are “moving along well”, signing off on an economically viable commissioning support offer is “proving to be the most difficult”.

Dr McGilligan said the delay in getting a CSS offer has caused a “slow down” in his progress towards authorisation and attributed the delay to the low numbers of managing directors appointed at NHS CB hosted CSSs.

A spokesperson from the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) said the recruitment process for managing directors of CSUs is “well under way”.