excellent good or average

CCGs fall foul of Ofsted type inspection

NHS England has released its first OFSTED style report of inspections carried out at Clinical Commissioning Groups (“CCGs”) It was announced in October 2015 that CCG’s would receive ratings of either “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Requires Improvement” or “Inadequate” for various categories including its management, planning, finances and leadership.

CCGs play a vital role in providing NHS services. They make decision about how money is spent and what policies should be implemented in local areas to allocate care and treatment. A CCG’s function can influence the operation of GPs, healthcare outside of hospitals and other social care services. It is important that they are effectively run and operating in a way that provides maximum benefit to all in the society it serves.

The first OFSTED style report, released this month makes for grim reading for those working for many CCGs. With 26 rated as “inadequate” and many receiving “requires improvement” in at least one category assessed, there is a lot to do to bring these organisation up to scratch. A copy of the report can be found on the NHS England website, and the best and worst performing groups have been named as follows:



Bassetlaw Bedfordshire Kernow South Gloucestershire
Dudley Brighton & Hove Medway Southport & Formby
East Lancashire Cambridgeshire & Peterborough New Devon St Helens
Fyld & Wyre Coventry & Rugby North Kirklees Surrey Downs
Harrogate and Rural District Cumbria North Somerset Vale of York
Newcastle Gateshead East Surrey North Tyneside Walsall
Salford Enfield Shropshire West Cheshire
Sandwell & West Birmingham Havering South Cheshire  
Wolverhampton Herefordshire South Devon & Torbay

The report was published alongside the annual CCG Stakeholder survey, in which over 8,000 doctors, clinicians and Healthwatch campaigners completed a survey about their experience and views on their local CCG. Whilst on average over 50% of those surveyed had a positive experience with their local CCG, 2015-2016 has seen an overall decline in the number of positive responses received in respect of leadership and the CCG listening to the views of others. The most discontent was amongst GPs, who feel they have no influence over decision making, whereas “Healthwatch” is reported to have fed back that CCG engagement with them has improved.

A copy of that report can also found on the above link.

It is too early to tell what action need to be taken against or by the CCGs rated as “inadequate” and what impact that might have on provision of healthcare in those areas. But what is positive is that this new criteria offers a transparent way of reporting failing areas and allows the CCGs involved to take appropriate action in the coming year.