NHS England recently reported ‘significant progress’ in the first post –authorisation review of CCGs that had conditions and directions placed on them and has cleared a further 46 CCGs while another 51 CCGs had the number of conditions reduced.

All 46 CCGs have fully discharged their conditions and directions, meaning they have satisfied all 119 criteria. For a full description of the 119 authorisation criteria, please see Clinical commissioning group authorisation: guide for applicants.

Criteria CCGs failed to satisfy far more commonly than any others related to:

  • having a clear and credible plan that sets out draft commissioning intentions for 2013/14 and a high-level strategic plan for 2014/15
  • having a detailed financial plan setting out how the CCG will achieve financial balance and operate within its management allowance.

Other issues CCGs failed to meet included an effective system of internal controls to ensure CCGs maintained strategic oversight of clinical risk management and patient safety issues.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of the 211 CCGs are free of all conditions placed on them by NHS England leaving 59 CCGs with at least one condition in place. The number of CCGs with legal directions as well as conditions on their authorisation is down from 14 to eight. For those eight CCGs that still have legal directions in place, NHS England will continue to provide ‘formal legally-underpinned support’.

NHS England has said that it will continue its support process with those CCGs that still have conditions in place to help them discharge their conditions as soon as possible. It will also continue to review CCGs’ authorisation conditions quarterly and the next review will be held in September 2013.