Earlier last month I blogged on the subject of NHS England’s co-commissioning plans, and this week NHS England has published Next steps towards primary care co-commissioning document. The document sets out further information on the choices and options around co-commissioning to give CCGs an opportunity to choose afresh what co-commissioning model they wish to assume for their local health economy. The document also provides clarity around each of the models in terms of opportunities and limitations and the steps towards implementing co-commissioning arrangements, including the timeline and approvals process.

The document is accompanied by a suite of practical resources and tools to support local implementation of co-commissioning arrangements. In addition, the document confirms that the national framework for the handling of conflicts of interest management for primary care co-commissioning is under development in partnership with NHS Clinical Commissioners. While there is already conflicts of interest guidance and a code of conduct in place for CCGs and GPs in commissioning roles, NHS England is strengthening this in recognition that co-commissioning is likely to increase the frequency and range of potential conflicts of interest – especially for delegated arrangements. The conflicts of interest framework will be published as statutory guidance in accordance with section 14Z8 of the NHS Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012) in December 2014.