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NHS: Primary Care Trusts

Volume 712: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how strategic health authorities will assess the commissioning competency of primary care trusts. [HL4647]

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to introduce a system of publicly available performance measurement, with metrics rather than a list of competencies, to demonstrate progress by primary care trusts towards the Government's objective of World Class Commissioning in the National Health Service. [HL4648]

Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) hold primary care trusts (PCTs) to account on their commissioning performance through an annual assurance system. The system includes an assessment of both outcomes and processes, evaluating PCTs' commissioning progress against three elements: commissioning skill sets (or competencies), organisational governance and health outcomes. These elements are assessed using a combination of approaches including self- assessment, self-certification, feedback from partners, evidence-gathering, data analysis and panel review days. Progress against outcomes is measured using metrics.

SHAs are responsible for running the assurance process locally, ensuring each PCT has gathered the appropriate evidence, co-ordinating the panel review day, and providing follow-up, including both rating PCTs and supporting their ongoing development.

In the first year of assurance each PCT's ratings, calibrated nationally, were published locally and can be accessed on each PCT's website. The results from year two of assurance will be published nationally.