12 Jul 2019

The CCG has received its annual assurance rating from NHS England as part of the Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) and is rated 'good' for 2018/19.

NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has received its annual performance rating from NHS England. The CCG, which plans and buys healthcare for around 197,000 people in St Helens, received an overall outcome of ‘good’.

Every year, NHS England rate the performance of CCGs using a tool called the Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF).  These ratings provide a benchmark for CCGs, so they can compare themselves to others and assess where they need to focus.  It also gives national and local regulators and partners an indication of where more support is needed.

There are four main areas that each CCG is measured against; Better Care, Better Health, Sustainability and Quality of Leadership.  St Helens CCG was successful in maintaining or improvement against a broad range of IAF indicators, achieving 11 indicators within the best performing quartile and achieving its 2018/19 break even control total. The Patient and Community Engagement indicator assesses how well CCGs involve the public in commissioning; ensuring effective patient and public participation in the development of plans to ensure services meet the needs of local communities and tackle health inequalities. The rating for NHS St Helens CCG is ‘green’.

Furthermore, NHS England has confirmed that NHS directions for the CCG have been removed.  The CCG has been under NHS directions since 2016/17 when it was deemed to be at risk of failing to discharge its functions. The removal of directions is evidence that NHS England is satisfied that the CCG has made sufficient progress and improvement in its financial governance.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Strategic Director People's Services / Clinical Accountable Officer at NHS St Helens CCG, said: “This is a really good result for us and receiving a green rating in all four key areas is evidence that we are delivering positive outcomes and demonstrates the progress made in relation to financial discipline.

“We know we still have challenges in terms of performance against the NHS Constitution – especially around A&E performance – and our underlying financial position remains challenging: we need to achieve our 2019/20 control total to qualify for £2 million of Commissioner Sustainability Fund (CSF) monies.

“However, we are also pleased that we have been removed from NHS directions which is testament to the hard work that everyone has put in to contribute to the CCG’s improvement and financial recovery plans over the past few years to ensure that the organisation is fit for purpose in terms of its governance, capacity and capability to serve the people of St Helens.”

An NHS spokesperson said: “The results of this year’s CCG annual assessment show a continued steady improvement in the rating of Clinical Commissioning Groups compared to the previous year despite another challenging year.  The new NHS regional teams will continue to support improvement in those local organisations facing the greatest challenges.”

 The full NHS England assessment report can be found at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/ccg-annual-assessment-report-2018-19/

Further details about NHS St Helens CCG and how we are performing against the IAF framework can be found on the My NHS website.