Nottinghamshire County Council announce new centralisation plans

Nottinghamshire County Council, working with local NHS commissioners, is set to centralise the commissioning of health services for children, young people and families.

The new Nottinghamshire Integrated Commissioning Hub will begin to co-ordinate the planning and commissioning of services from September this year.

Coun John Peck is chairman of the Council’s committee for children and young people’s services, which will discuss the proposal at its meeting next week (Monday, 10th June).

He explained: “Following recent statutory changes, a greater number of organisations have become responsible for commissioning health and wellbeing services for children and families, so it’s paramount that we avoid services becoming fragmented as a result.

“And Clinical Commissioning Groups recognise that they have limited capacity to take on the commissioning of children’s health services which are complex and inter-related.”

If approved, the hub will be set up on behalf of Nottinghamshire’s six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the County Council, including Public Health.

“The hub is an important opportunity to bring together the commissioning of children’s health and wellbeing services, an approach which is well-established in other areas,” added Councillor Peck.

“It will streamline commissioning and avoid duplication. Through joint working, the hub will focus on delivering the best outcomes and highest quality of service for children, young people and families whilst making the best use of available resources. And through the hub, young people and families will be able to have a say in the services and support they need.”

Dr Kate Allen, public health consultant at the council, said: “We will co-ordinate commissioning for a number of services, phasing more in over time. Initially these will include public health services for children aged five to 19, such as school nursing.

“Also falling into the hub’s remit will be child and adolescent mental health services, health services for children in care and community services for children with disabilities and special needs.”

The hub will be based within County Hall in Nottingham and will begin taking a lead on commissioning services through a range of joint arrangements from the autumn.

A team will run the hub, with some positions coming from existing posts in Public Health at the Council and a further four new posts being created.