The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) published a new operating model for commissioning specialised services on 21 November which set out how the move from ten differing regional processes to a single national approach will improve services for patients.

A public consultation on the first set of specialised service specifications and underpinning clinical policies has now been launched.

The consultation, which runs from 12 December 2012 to 18 January 2013, is seeking the views of patients and carers, patient groups, charities, nurses, doctors and service providers on 120 draft service specifications and 43 clinical commissioning policies.

The service specifications describe core and developmental standards, clearly defining what the NHS CB expects to be in place for providers to offer evidence-based, safe and effective services. Core standards are those that any reasonable provider of safe and effective services should be able to demonstrate. Developmental standards are those that are designed to stretch services over time to provide excellence in the field.

The consultation will provide feedback on whether the specifications and accompanying policies are clear, comprehensive and take into account everyone who may be affected by them.

Developed by expert clinicians, commissioners of care and patient representatives working closely together, this nationally consistent approach aims to provide patients across England with high quality, safe care and equitable treatment.

The consultation can be found at:
http://www.commissioningboard.nhs.uk/ourwork/d-com/spec-serv/consult/

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