Changes to contracts
Each year the Northamptonshire CCGs negotiate new contracts with its providers (the hospitals in our county and the organisation providing mental health and community health services, as well as some smaller contracts). Contracts set out what services will be delivered by each provider, the standards of each service and what the CCGs will pay for the service provided to patients and service users.
Some contract changes are requested by NHS England and each CCG is required to make them. Other changes are local arrangements agreed between local CCGs and local Providers. All contract changes will have either a direct or indirect benefit to patients and service users. These benefits range from providing more responsive and efficient services to improving relations with providers.
What are these changes?
A total of 46 nationally defined changes were made across all service contracts. Highlights include:
- Maternity Services
Introduction of the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle, aimed at reducing still-births and neonatal deaths and an increased target of the number of women who experience continuity of care.
- Eating Disorder Services
Greater incentives for the eating disorder service to reduce waiting times for children and young people who need treatment.
- Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP)
All providers now need to see a minimum of 56% of service users requiring EIP within two weeks of referral.
- Provision of Sanitary Products
All providers need to make sanitary products available, free of charge, to hospital patients from 1st July 2019.
Within Northamptonshire, many of the contract changes for 2019/20 were agreed to support the further development of the Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (NHCP), including:
- Alignment of Goals and Behaviours
To ensure that contracts support partnership working, the principles, values and behaviours of the NHCP have been included as contract content for all key Northamptonshire NHS providers.
- Aligned Approach to Reporting Standards
Wherever possible, measurement and reporting of service achievements are now based upon the Best Possible Value principles of Patient Outcomes Patient Experience, Safety & Efficiency and reported in a consistent and comparable manner.
In addition to supporting greater partnership working, local agreements were made to improve specific services, including:
- Increased Coverage of Key Adult Mental Health Services
Following consistent improvements in the outcomes and clinical effectiveness of local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services, the number of service users benefiting from these improvements will now be further increased in 2019/20.
- Shorter Waiting Times for Children’s ADHD & Asperger’s Services
In addition to the clear definition of reportable service user outcomes for this service, additional resource has been provided to help address the growing demands within Northamptonshire.
To ensure that agreed improvements for 2019/20 are achieved and to help inform improvements for future years, an extensive process of provider engagement has been agreed for the year.