Commissioning Support Services- How to spend the NHS budget
Deciding which treatments our NHS provides and which organisations are hired to run them is an important role. Locally each new GP-led CCG will be assisted in this by a Commissioing Support Unit. These will be hosted but not part of each CCG and the intention is for them to be free-standing by 2016. These CSUs are up and running in many areas and are already forging links with the private sector. It is expected that private companies like United Health could be one of a number being paid to help to decide how the NHS budget is spent. Concerns have been voiced that any company employed in this way will not be directly accountable, but will have very strong influence. Is it right that a commercial organisation should have such power over how public money is spent?
An analysis of data from 86 CCGs obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows 41% have taken on external commissioning support outside the NHS, spending an average of £76,472 each and £2,753,000 in total.