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How CCG plans can be complete, consistent and accessible

One of the more persuasive reasons behind the creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups was that they would be more open to patients and the public.

We needed to move on from the unnecessarily bureaucratic Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities, with byzantine governance structures and impenetrable procedures. CCG’s, led by the friendly family doctors we all know and love would be more open, easier to access and engage regularly and professionally with everyone. And in fact direct guidance from the NHS as CCGs were being established made this very clear. CCGs were told to “listen and learn, ensure their work was evidence-based, be open, transparent, inclusive and strive for improvement”.

Except of course it hasn’t quite worked out like that.

A report published recently in The Conversation ( showed that most CCGs were anything but transparent. Their researchers found that

“Of the 211 CCGs in England, only 27 had open and accessible plans while nine had no open access to plans or no plans at all.”

And even those that did have plans did not make it easy to find them.

“Nine out of ten CCGs needed to be contacted because their plans were not easily accessible (either by searching their websites, or board meeting minutes), or were incomplete (only available as early drafts or spreadsheets), or the documentation was unclear (for example, various plans were combined into one document).“

Now I don’t know about you but I tend towards the cock up rather than conspiracy theory on stuff like this. I genuinely don’t think that CCGs are deliberately hiding their plans, or making it harder for people to find them. I just think they do not have the knowledge or technology to create easy access. They have out of date and incompatible systems that actually make it very difficult to open documents up to the public. Web systems are slow and hard to navigate, and decision making to improve things is complex and sadly low down the priority list.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Cloud based solutions are easy and quick. They keep things safe and allow for easily managed access to everyone who needs it. They deal with the requirement for effective version control. They are straightforward to set up and manage, and have almost unlimited storage space.

So why doesn’t this happen? Time. Although they know they have a problem, CCGs just do not have the headspace to think through how to deal with it. Or the capacity to design, procure and deliver a system that will make life easier, cheaper and more effective for everyone.

At Sirius we think we might be able to help. In fact we have developed “CCG Performance Accelerator” which is designed to help with exactly this kind of thing. It is, as far as we know, the only integrated system developed specifically for CCGs to integrate national indicator and QIPP performance with strategic, operational plans and KPIs. And in addition we can sort it so that CCG members and stakeholders (including the public) can have specific access to their particular view from a single set of data.

We might be biased, but we think this will just about solve your problems. It will make plans straightforward to prepare regardless of their complexity, and ensure they are complete, consistent and accessible.

Call us, or have a look at our website and see where we have done this effectively before.


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