CCGs claim rationing decision based on Right Care programme

Last month HSJ revealed that Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, alongside South Worcestershire and Wyre Forest CCGs, intended to restrict knee and hip replacement operations on the basis of a patient’s Oxford knee and hip scores, which are usually used to asses patient outcomes.

The CCGs could save £2.1m a year by reducing operations

The Royal College of Surgeons said the move had “no clinical justification”.

Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG said in a board paper the CCGs had “utilised” NHS Right Care data packs to identify hip and knee replacement surgery as an area where the three groups could reduce expenditure by “circa £2,123,420 per annum”.

In a statement to HSJ last week, the CCG said: “We have worked with our NHS England appointed Right Care delivery partner to understand how to use the Right Care analysis packs properly before making decisions in this area.”

NHS Right Care is a national programme launched to tackle unwarranted variation in commissioning policies across England. Since April 2016, NHS England has published analysis packs for each CCG to use to reduce variation.

The packs compare outcome measures, activity and spending between CCGs with similar demographics for certain NHS treatments, including knee and hip operations.

Redditch and Bromsgrove said this week the Right Care packs indicated that all three CCGs commission 300 more hip replacements and 53 more knee replacements than similar CCGs.

Full story in the HSJ, 8 February 2017