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Healthcare Professionals Commissioning Network (HCPCN)

Health Care Professionals launch new Commissioning Network

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Health Care Professionals launch new Commissioning Network

NHS Networks hosted the inaugural meeting of the Health Care Professionals’ (HCP) Commissioning Network at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s headquarters in London this week.

The new network is supported by PBC Connection and is working alongside the Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) Clinical Leaders Network to broaden professional influence on local commissioning. The network brings together local and national clinical leaders from nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry and the allied health professions to discuss and debate how clinician led commissioning can be further developed to include the insights and

experience of a wide range of health care professionals, alongside GPs.


National Lead for PBC at the DH, Dr James Kingsland, who is a member of the network and chaired the meeting, commented:

“One of the biggest challenges for GP commissioners is being able to undertake robust needs assessment. This is where the insights from other health care professionals who see different people or who see our patients in a different light can be invaluable. We need to embrace an inclusive model of commissioning and a broad range of health professionals to make GP commissioning the best it can be.”


Stephen Foster who heads up the HCP Commissioning Network and is a community pharmacy clinical leader and pharmacy superintendent from Kent commented: “This meeting is all about defining the future. We need to add value to the commissioning process. We can only do that if we work with GP colleagues collaboratively to define the gaps in commissioning data and then look at how we can fill them.”


The key messages from the group that will be fed back to the Department of Health to inform White Paper thinking on the future model of commissioning are:

• Names matter. Calling the new model GP commissioning creates a barrier to
integrated, inclusive commissioning. We need transformational change fast.  That means engaging everyone who impacts on patient care. The new name must drive integrated commissioning for integrated care.

• Local relationships are key. We need to create shared budgets and dovetail
contractual frameworks to incentivise collaboration.

• Public health improvement and prevention is bigger than general practice.
Those whose health needs are the greatest are often unregistered or low users of the service. The new model of commissioning must be linked to joint strategic
needs assessment (JSNA) to ensure local commissioning retains a public health

• Commissioning needs to be based on insights from the many. To create a
rich commissioning picture, we need data and insights from all those who impact on people’s care.

• Patients need to be fully involved in commissioning. Finding more effective
ways of delivering patient and public involvement in commissioning will be critical to the success of any new model and will be a key objective of this group.