Many CCGs’ SLAs with CSUs will shortly be coming to an end and NHS England has already signalled that these should not be extended beyond April 2016. Commissioning support must be openly procured to secure best value and to comply with EU procurement law. There is a significant risk of challenge (with costs attached) if CCGs do not do so. Using the Framework is the quickest and simplest way of complying with the law and getting the best value. NHS England encourages as many CCGs as possible to use the Lead Provider Framework.

NHS England has published a simple handbook containing sample tender forms and good practice specifications to help CCGs buy from the framework. NHS England says that it will help CCGs to work through these documents when the CCG is clear about what and when it is going to procure. The documents are available at www.england.nhs.uk/lpf.