The challenge

North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (NCL CCG) formally established in April 2020, bringing together the five north London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington. The CCG recognised that to maximise its value, it needed to reduce variation, duplication and administrative burden across North Central London. So, the CCG asked us to harmonise and build on existing clinical policies to help strengthen its effectiveness in buying and delivering health and care services for residents.

Our approach

We designed a personalised service to provide operational, technical and administrative management of the NCL policy development process. Our work included establishing the governance framework for local policy development and running the governance and policy decision-making committees, a review (‘health-check’) of the current clinical policy document and using data across the healthcare system to prioritise several policy topics for review.

We identified topics for review where there were:

  • Issues relating to equality (i.e. policies likely to impact on patients with protected characteristics as per Equality Act 2010).
  • Policies that had not taken consideration of the most up to date national guidance.

Our review process ensures that CCGs prioritise health care resources to best meet the needs of their populations with confidence. We accomplish this through the development of robust, equitable and transparent evidence-based clinical commissioning policies that meld national policy drivers and research evidence with local realities and constraints.

Each policy recommendation is underpinned by a technical report, which typically includes a baseline assessment, review of policy drivers and research evidence, stakeholder consultation, equality analysis, and assessment of the impact of potential policy options.

The outcome

The ‘health-check’ identified 16 clinical policies prioritised for review in light of changes to commissioning responsibilities and national guidance. Revised clinical policies were included in the consolidated NCL policy document. The service will ensure more consistent and equitable access to clinically appropriate treatments, based on the latest evidence and best practice.