Commissioners to take over leading CSU

A commissioning support unit is to be turned into a community interest company owned by its CCG customers, according to the region’s sustainability and transformation plan.

The document, published last week, says converting North of England Commissioning Support Unit into a company will support the delivery of the STP and save cash which can then be reinvested into frontline care.

CSUs are currently hosted by NHS England. Since they were first established in 2011 the policy has always been that they would become independent entities.

The idea of clinical commissioning groups taking long term ownership of CSUs was first floated in 2013. The community interest company would be owned by the 11 CCGs in the Northern CCG Forum, covering the North East and Cumbria.

NECS employs more than 800 staff and provides business support and intelligence, communications and engagement, procurement and clinical support services.

The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North Durham STP document said turning the CSU into a community interest company would also provide the “high performing analytical, transformation and business support services” needed to implement the proposals.

It added that establishing NECS as a community interest company would secure its position as a “market leader in commissioning support services”, while “further aligning their priorities with ours to drive out greater efficiency, innovation and improvement”.


Other plans in the STP to close the region’s £641m expected financial gap by 2020-21, include:

  • Scaling up the new care models such as as the Northumbria accountable care organisation vanguard, which is scheduled to go live in a partially integrated form in April.
  • Continue moves to bring South Tyneside and Sunderland foundation trusts together under a single management team.
  • Review the workforce pressures of delivering a seven day service.
  • Expand prevention services to reduce smoking and obesity prevalence.

Full story in The HSJ 18 November 2016