NHSCB appoints first CSS managing directors and announces decision to host

The first round of appointments to commissioning support services (CSSs) managing director posts has been made by the NHSCB.  Nine appointments have been made while discussions are ongoing with others.

CSSs will be responsible for supporting CCGs with procurement contract negotiating service redesign risk stratification and information analysis.

The successful appointees and their current CSSs are:

  • Robert Bacon - Birmingham Black Country and Solihull Commissioning Support Service
  • Stephen Childs - North East Commissioning Support
  • Keith Douglas - Commissioning Support South
  • Jan Hull - Best West Commissioning Support
  • Derek Kitchen - Staffordshire Commissioning Support Service
  • Rachel Pearce - Arden Commissioning Support Service
  • Andrew Ridley - North Central and East London Commissioning Support Service
  • Ming Tang ? South Yorkshire Commissioning Support Service
  • Sarah Whiting - North West London Commissioning Support Service
  • Professor John Parkes  -  Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Service.

At the same time the Board has announced that all 23 CSSs will now proceed to be hosted by the NHSCB from October 2012; a shift in emphasis brought about as a result of Checkpoint 2 where the numbers of CSSs reduced to 23 and subsequent further evaluation which has made it clear that each is viable in terms of scale.  In addition the Board recognises the need for stability for CSSs and their customers to ensure a successful transition to the new commissioning system.

CSSs must pass a number of 'checkpoints' on their way to authorisation. Checkpoint two took place in April.  Checkpoint three begins on the 31 August with the CSSs sending their developed business plans to the NHSCB.

Joe Rafferty of the NHSCB spoke to the Health Service Journal revealing that altogether CSSs will employ some 8,000 staff and have a budget of about £700m annually.

The CSSs will have three structural models: as a social enterprise joint venture or as an outsourced contract model. In a social enterprise the group will be owned by staff; a joint venture will be run by a private company and the NHSCB; and in the contracted model the NHSCB retains control of the CSS but its services are outsourced.

CSSs are expected to be independent or 'externalised' from the NHSCB by April 2016.

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