Skip to main content

Specialised Commissioning

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he will monitor and report the effectiveness of the new arrangements for specialist commissioning. [111140]

Strategic health authorities and collaborative commissioning groups and associated service-specific consortia will report regularly to their member primary care trusts and should report at least annually on a formal basis to them. In addition, the individual PCTs will cover the commissioning of specialised services in their annual reports.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Level 2 groups for specialised commissioning have scope to set up a national group for planning purposes. [111141]

If Level 2 specialised services commissioning groups wish to set up a national group for planning purposes they are free to do so. One such group, (severe) Burn Care Services has already been established.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether regional specialised commissioning groups may continue to commission specialised services where constituent primary care trusts so determine. [111142]

Primary care trusts are required to belong to collaborative commissioning groups for specialised services and agree the remit, powers and rules of engagement of these groups. Level 2 collaborative commissioning groups, which will generally cover the same or similar area to the former regional specialised commissioning groups, commission those specialised services with planning populations around three to six million. Level 1 collaborative commissioning groups cover services with planning population of one to two million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the decisions of a commissioning consortium for specialised services will be binding on a primary care trust which declines to join the consortium. [111143]

The remit, powers and rules of engagement of collaborative specialised services commissioning groups are agreed by the member primary care trusts (PCTs) and the decisions of these groups are binding on all members. Strategic health authorities performance manage such arrangements and ensure all PCTs belong to an appropriate collaborative commissioning group.It is up to the collaborative commissioning group to decide whether to set up service-specific consortia and what form these will take.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action will be taken if a primary care trust declines to join a commissioning consortium as recommended in the recent guidelines on specialised commissioning. [111144]

It is a requirement for all primary care trusts to belong to collaborative commissioning groups and it is the strategic health authority's responsibility to ensure that all their primary care trusts do so. It is up to the collaborative commissioning group to decide whether to set up service-specific consortia and what form these will take.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will protect spending on specialised services in real terms for a further year. [111145]

To ensure stability during 2002–03, whilst primary care trusts (PCTs) assumed responsibility for commissioning specialised services, they were asked to honour previously agreed financial commitments and programmes of service reviews for specialised services. This commitment will not be extended to 2003–04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the preparedness of primary care trusts to assume responsibility for specialised commissioning has improved since the Department of Health conducted a review last year. [111146]

In January 2002, the Department undertook a survey of commissioning arrangements for specialised services. At that time, health authorities were the bodies responsible for commissioning. The survey did not therefore consider the role of primary care trusts, which have been responsible for commissioning since April 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how he will monitor and report the effectiveness of the new arrangements for specialised commissioning; [111777](2) whether regional specialised commissioning groups will continue to commission specialised services where constituent primary care trusts so determine. [111776]

I refer the hon. Member to the responses I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Berry) above.