Posts Tagged ‘pct’

Clinical Commissioning Groups

December 13, 2011

A Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a group of GPs and other clinicians who have chosen to come together to commission (buy) health services for their local communities. From early 2013, Clinical Commissioning Groups will be responsible for commissioning NHS services for patients inEngland. All GPs will need to be part of a CCG. They will replace Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). CCGs will be responsible for commissioning hospital services (elective, acute and emergency) and most community health services (for example district nurses), and mental health services. The 151 PCTs have already been organised into 51 clusters in preparation for the change. There will be a period of dual functioning as CCGs mature and PCTs delegate more responsibility to CCGs.


The governing bodies (Boards) of the CCGs will have, in addition to GPs, a least one registered nurse and a doctor who is a secondary care specialist. Groups will have boundaries that will not normally cross those of local authorities.

Some CCGs have been given authority by central government to test new models of clinical commissioning and to lead in their development – the term ‘pathfinder’ is used to describe such groups.


Commissioning is the term used in the public sector for buying services. It is a structured way of deciding how public money should be spent. In the case of the NHS, commissioning relates to the provision of health services. Commissioning healthcare and health services is the process of examining:

  • the healthcare needs of the area
  • the way in which healthcare services are delivered
  • ways in which healthcare resources will offer the best overall value for money


Health services, such as GPs and community and hospital services have historically been commissioned by PCTs. This way of buying in services has meant that GPs and other clinicians, who are the best placed to advise on their patients needs, have been too far removed from the process.


The health White Paper: Equity & Excellence: Liberating the NHS was published in July 2010. The White Paper reinforces this view, and in time, much of the responsibility for commissioning health services will be given over to clinicians including GPs.


The CCGs will be overseen by the newly formed independent NHS Commissioning Board which will make sure that CCGs have the capacity and capability to commission services successfully and to meet their financial responsibilities. The NHS Commissioning Board will become fully operational from April 2012. Its senior structures should contain a range of healthcare professionals, and it will have a Medical Director and a Chief Nursing Officer on its board.

The NHS Commissioning Board will also be responsible for directly commissioning:

  • Pharmacy services
  • General Practice
  • Dentistry services
  • Specialist services (specialised services that are required by a limited number of people)

At a local level, new Health and Wellbeing Boards will be set up in local authorities to ensure that CCGs are meeting the needs of local people. The membership of these boards will include representatives from:

  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Directors of public health
  • Children’s services
  • Adult Social Services
  • Elected councillors
  • Health watch (representing the views of patients, carers and local communities)


These boards will be in place in shadow form April 2012.    



For further information

More information on the health White Paper: Equity & Excellence:

Liberating the NHS see the Department of Health website:

Health White Paper

August 5, 2010


Tuesday 13th July 2010

The new Health Minister announced the White Paper that lays out the future of the NHS over the course of this parliament (which is now a guaranteed 5 years).  He described this as a ‘blueprint’ for Health Policy up to the next General Election.  The main aim is to cut £20bn from the Health Budget over the next 4 years.  One of the main issues is the end of the current PCTs, which means that GPs will have direct control of the commissioning of services.  NHS Management costs are set to reduce by 45% as a part of this reduction.

This is considered by many to be the most radical NHS White Paper to date, and is expected to be well received by the Conservative back benches.  As for the Lib Dems, they had the abolition of StHAs as part of their 2010 manifesto, so this should sit well with them also.

Lansley said ‘the provision of healthcare service will be led by patients and professionals and not by politicians’.

The basics of the White Paper are set out below:

 More power to GPs

The most contentious issues will be the compulsory devolvement of huge commissioning powers to GP and GP Consortia and the abolition of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). None of this was proposed by the Conservatives when they were in opposition.  These decisions emerged after the General Election. There is concern that a large number of GPs do not want to take on commissioning functions, and in fact are ill-equipped to do so.

It is interesting therefore to note that the British Medical Association has welcomed today’s announcement.

More power to patients

The Government is going to launch HealthWatch England, a new ‘consumer champion’, which will sit within the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The White Paper provides an ethos for structural change; the NHS must be patient led and choices must be led by those at the frontline of delivering those services to patients, i.e. clinicians. On a national level, it will be able to propose CQC investigations of poor service. This organisation will help to strengthen the patient voice and ensure that patient feedback is heard at a local level. Patients will not only have power over the choice of GP they would like to attend (regardless of where they live), but will also have power over who has sight of their patient record.

Abolition of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)

The complete removal of PCTs, instead of simply reducing their numbers, came as a big surprise when compared to the proposals contained in the Conservative manifesto from January 2010. However, it is in keeping with current measures when you look at the plan to reduce admin costs by 45%.  Some form of supervisory role is of course required, particularly in respect of GPs and other primary care services, and it is a role which Monitor (the body currently responsible for the regulation of Foundation Trusts) may find challenging.   

Abolition of Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs)

SHAs will be abolished as early as  2012. Their functions will be taken over by Monitor. Monitors’ remit will extend to establish it as the key economic regulator in healthcare.

Foundation Trusts

All NHS Trusts will become or be part of a Foundation Trust and this will be the preferred governance model for the health service. Trusts will be given more freedom to innovate to improve patient care. NHS staff will have the opportunity – where appropriate – to manage these organisations as ‘the largest social enterprise sector in the world’.

NHS Commissioning Board

A review of existing quangos is due to report in the autumn but the White Paper makes provision for a number of new bodies which will help implement this new, patient led vision of the NHS. The most vital is the NHS Commissioning Board which will act to ensure quality in commissioning and be responsible for commissioning certain services, such as community pharmacy, which GPs cannot commission. It will also be responsible for increasing patient choice through helping patients manage their personal health budgets. The intention is for this body to be fully operational in April 2012. The underpinning concept is to reduce the number of quangos but those that do exist will be interlinked and more accessible to patients.

Value based pricing

The White Paper confirms that the Government intends to move to value based pricing when the current Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) runs out at the end of 2013. A reference is made to the Cancer Drugs Fund, which will operate from April 2011, but no further details are provided.


In a further strengthening of its powers, NICE will be in charge of developing new quality standards for all the main pathways of care. The paper estimates that NICE will develop up to 150 new quality standards over the next five years. This will position NICE as the key quality regulator building on Lord Darzi’s work on quality improvements, under the previous Government.

 Scrapping targets

As mentioned in the NHS Operating Framework, targets with ‘no clinical justification’ will be scrapped (although not as many as were discussed in Opposition). There is a concession that some targets do work but the paper is not clear on which ones and a consultation is promised on new measureables.

Long Term Care

A Commission will be set up to look into long-term care from the Department of Health. This is in keeping with the move to strip away the Department’s NHS functions and replace them with longer term social care objectives.


A number of consultation papers will be published in the near future, getting stakeholder views on policies including; commissioning for patients, freeing providers and economic regulation, the NHS outcomes framework, the framework for transition. This process will be an important part of the transition to the new system as will the proper management of the financial risk.


Primary legislation will be required to make many of the proposed changes in the White Paper. The Health Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech provides for many of these reforms and is due to be introduced in late 2010. The main legislative reforms in the Bill will include: Making improvement in outcomes central to the NHS; Reforming NICE;  creating the independent NHS Commissioning Board; creating a framework for a comprehensive system of GP consortia; establishing HealthWatch; reforming the Foundation Trust model; developing Monitor’s role and reducing the number of arms length bodies in health. The Department of Health is taking comments on implementing all the changes in the Health Bill, which must be submitted by 5 October 2010. We can therefore deduce that the Health Bill will not be laid before Parliament before this date.  

The Health Bill will also support the creation of a new Public Health Service, which will streamline existing health improvement and protection bodies. Another White Paper, this time on public health will be published later this year. In addition, the public health budget will be ring-fenced and local Directors of Public Health will be responsible for health improvement funds allocated according to local need.

Sources: white paper and Mr Lansleys press release.

Interview Guidance

February 4, 2010

Interview Guidance

PRIOR TO the Interview


  • Look committed and find out as much as possible about the company.


  • Visit their web site for more information on the company.


  • Find out who will your competitors be and as much as possible about the market/customers you will be selling to 


Job Description

  • Make sure you are fully aware what the role is you are being interviewed for.  Your consultant at 20:20 Selection Ltd will have fully briefed you on this. 


  • Be confident that you are technically qualified to do the job.  We would not have spoken to you about the role if we didn’t think your profile matched the client’s criteria!


  • Have examples from your previous roles to demonstrate your ability to do this job and evidence in your brag file to back this up



Personal Presentation

  • Look your smartest and show your most professional side during the interview. A company is more likely to employ someone who is well presented and who will therefore best represent their company to customers. 



  • Arrive to start the interview on time (be early if possible)


  • Obtain clear directions for the location of the interview and plan your journey, allowing plenty of time to arrive.



  • Introduce yourself courteously (first impressions last!)


  • Express yourself clearly.


  • Show tact, manners, courtesy, and maturity at every opportunity.


  • Be confident and maintain poise. The ability to handle your nerves during the interview will come across as confidence in your ability to handle the job.


  • Be prepared to show how your experience would benefit the company.


  • Ask questions concerning the company or products and the position for which you are being interviewed for. An interviewer will be impressed by an eager and inquisitive mind. You will also be able to demonstrate that you can contribute to the company or industry if you show an interest in its products and/or services.


  • Take time to think and construct your answers to questions to avoid rushing into a vague and senseless reply.
  • Demonstrate that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company’s organisational structure and the team in which you will work.


  • Show willingness to start at the bottom and work up.


  • Anticipate questions you’re likely to be asked and have answers prepared in advance. Uncertainty and disorganisation show the interviewer that you are unprepared and unclear what your goals are.


  • Be assertive without being aggressive (ensure you close – remember you are a sales person & ‘you’ are your product)


  • Thank the interviewer for their time


Interview Don’ts

  • Be late for the interview. Tardiness is a sign of irresponsibility or disorganisation and the employer could take it as what to expect in the future.


  • Arrive unprepared for the interview.


  • Say unfavourable things about previous employers.


  • Make excuses for failings.


  • Give vague responses to questions.


  • Show lack of career planning – no goals or purpose could convey the impression you’re merely shopping around or only want the job for a short time.


  • Show too much concern about rapid advancement.


  • Overemphasise money. Your interviewing goal is to sell yourself to the interviewer and to get an offer of employment. Salary discussion is secondary.


  • Show any reservations you may have about the role/company. You can always turn down second interviews and job offers after you have had time to appraise your concerns in the cold light of day.


  • Express strong prejudices or any personal intolerance.


  • Leave your mobile phone on during the interview.


These are general tips that can be applied to any interview situation.  Part of the service we offer at 20:20 Selection Ltd is to help you prepare for specific client interviews.  We have key account managers specifically working with clients & members of the team who come from a pharmaceutical sales management background so you will get personalised expert advice relating to your interview!  To find out more about 20:20 Selection Ltd visit

Nurse Advisor and similar roles within the Pharmaceutical Industry

July 20, 2009