This is a time of great opportunity and many challenges within the NHS, with perhaps one of the most fundamental changes now crystallising with the advent of Clinical Commissioning Groups and Commissioning Support Units.
As the largest provider of legal support to the public sector – acting for 40% of all health trusts and almost 100% of all local authorities in England and Wales – we have a long and proven track record of providing advice and support to PCTs. We have been closely involved in the transition process and are now engaged in supporting CCGs and CSUs in the challenges they are facing.
We are experienced not just in developing governance arrangements, but also in the wider role of public sector healthcare. We have guided all types of NHS organisations through the maze of public sector obligations be they Foundation Trusts, Social Enterprises, Health and Welfare Boards or Commissioners.
Having worked for the NHS since its inception, we understand perfectly the interface between public and private sectors, as well as the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for both.
Our understanding of local authorities – and the pressures of reduced budgets – means we can be instrumental in developing joint working agendas and collaborations. Recent publications from the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust and indeed the Health Select Committee underline the importance of effective collaboration between health and social care. This is an area where we are the experts in providing our clients with effective support to enable them to deliver for patients. This cross-sector experience is invaluable for CCGs and CSUs who will be looking at strategic arrangements with local authority organisations.
It is crucially important for the commissioners to get their decisions right so that challenges to them can be minimised. We are working with commissioners in support of service redesign and consultation to enable effective and lawful decisions both at the service wide level and indeed down to individual and potentially very challenging cases. You will find in this section examples of our commentary on a range of the issues facing commissioners as well as contact details of our team who would be able to help you.