Further to the guidance published earlier this month we now have a fact sheet (to be found in the Primary Care Commissioning section of the Resources for CCGs page of the Board Authority's website) to help CCGs and PCTs understand the new arrangements for commissioning local enhanced services (LESs) from April 2013.
CCGs will be responsible for commissioning a wide range of community-based services including services delivered by GP practices provided they go beyond the services provided under the GP contract. CCGs' budgets will include the funding for current LESs (excluding public health services LESs which will be the responsibility of local authorities).
No changes to the rules and guidance about how services are commissioned are proposed. Where there are a range of potential providers CCGs will continue to be expected to commission either through competitive tender or by allowing patients the choice of qualified providers. But CCGs will also be able to commission exclusively from GP practices where GPs are the only possible providers for example because they hold a registered list of patients (this clarifies the expression used in the guidance referring to the 'only capable provider') or where the services are of a minimal value.
During the transition period PCTs will be required to agree with CCGs whether to extend current LESs into 2013/14 top provide ongoing stability of service provision. Similar discussions will be required with local authorities for public health related LESs .