National Voices welcomes NAO report on Specialised Commissioning

Wed, 27 April 2016

Sarah Hutchinson, Policy Adviser at National Voices, comments on the National Audit Office’s report on NHS specialised commissioning,

Commenting on the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on NHS specialised commissioning, Sarah Hutchinson, Policy Adviser at National Voices, the coalition of 160 health and care charities, said:

Fundamentally, NHS England’s approach to specialised commissioning has the potential to deliver better and more equal care for patients . The report from the NAO is a welcome yardstick as NHS England develops its policies around specialised commissioning.

The NAO found that some patients, particularly those with long-term conditions, have found their care becoming disjointed, and this is of great concern. A disjointed system removes any control patients have over their care as they are passed from service to service. It can have numerous consequences, including uncoordinated drug prescribing.

The report also concluded that NHS England does not have the information it needs to assess whether patient outcomes are improving. With no clear picture of the impact of specialised commissioning, the NHS will struggle to meet the needs of the population it serves.

We welcome the early steps NHS England has taken towards greater public and patient involvement in specialised commissioning. We would like to see a commitment to consistent support for patient pathways, the maintenance of national standards and pricing for specialised services, and a great deal more transparency and timeliness in NHSE processes.

Engaging patients and patient groups and a more transparent processes will improve performance.

For further information, please contact Andrew McCracken, Head of Communications at National Voices, on 020 3176 0737 or Andrew.McCracken@nationalvoices.org.uk