CCGs: a voyage into the commissioning unknown

Doctor checking blood pressure

The 1st April was for many of our local partners—carers’ centres and schemes who support hundreds of thousands of carers across England— approached with some trepidation.

In recent years Primary Care Trusts have had responsibility for commissioning services to support carers. Carers Trust and our local partners have worked hard—and pretty successfully I have to say—to make the case for supporting carers, explaining how putting comparatively small amounts of money in can really make the difference between carers being able to cope and maintain their health and wellbeing, or becoming ill or the caring role breaking down. If a carer is unable to keep caring, believe me, it costs a lot more.

Starting from scratch?

We’ve spent years documenting the evidence  showing how providing information and advice, breaks from caring, supportfor GPs to identify carers, and high quality replacement care can make a real difference, and in some areas of England, it is possible that little may change.

However, where there is a complete change in commissioners and decision makers, we may well have to start from scratch, making the case all over again. Very frustrating.

Already we are hearing that some of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (or CCGs) are giving notice on contracts for local carers’ services as they intend to review all the services they commission. This is incredibly destabilising. We will keep making the case for carers, and we know our local partners do a brilliant job and will battle through this. But  if commissioners don’t understand why supporting carers is important  we could be in for a bumpy year.

Watch this space

During this year of change, some senior staff from carers’ centres and schemes  are going to be blogging for us, writing about their experiences, so we can see what all of this means for those who are trying to make sense of it on the ground.

They’ll  be writing about their hopes and fears, whether the structures are becoming clearer or more confusing, and what the impact of all of these changes have been for them, their staff, and carers and families locally. We’ll all learn from the stories they have to tell.

I have a deep feeling of unease about the year ahead. I  hope that for many, if new structures and contracts are needed these are put in place quickly to secure their future  and stability for a number of years ahead. I fear, however, it’s not going to work quite like that everywhere

What do you think about the NHS commissioning changes?  How are they affecting you?

Keep reading over the next year to hear what our band of bloggers have to say.

March 28, 2013 - Posted by | Health, Uncategorized | , ,


  1. 😦 Yet another shake up – when will it end?!
    I believe in the saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
    I just hope that they realise the importance of supporting carers and realise it quickly.
    If we all stood up and said “We’re not doing this anymore” where would this government be then?? Bankrupt!!
    They need to open their eyes and understand how important carers are to this country.
    [Rant over – sorry but it makes me so angry, especially if it puts services in jeopardy! 😦 )

    Comment by Victoria Taylor | March 28, 2013 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on sincereblogdotcom.

    Comment by antoniasincere | March 30, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hi,
    i work for Essex Carers Support and have been working closely with the North east Essex CCG for quite some time around their engagement model and by encouraging carers to speak up and by collecting and raising carers issues, we have been able to influence the whole way engagement works in our area.

    The model is now called “the public, patient and carer engagement strategy” and we have an elected position on a high level forum (just below the board) to speak up for carers!

    I’m hoping it will mean that things in our area will be better than they have been in the past.

    Comment by Ryan Jones | April 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Hello Ryan,
      I’m a carer in Devon however I want to thank you for your commitment to carers. Sounds like you’re doing a great job! Thank you Josie

      Comment by Josie Gould | April 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. […] now, one month in to the new arrangements for NHS Commissioning, what does this mean on the ground? A new dawn of choice and options, or chaos and confusion, or […]

    Pingback by Local NHS Commissioning — the upheaval begins « CarersBlog | May 2, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: