From a new regulatory oversight framework to new data collection and reporting requirements, October 2016 will usher in a number of changes affecting health and care organisations in England.
Here’s an overview of what they are and where you can find further information and guidance.
You can also access a comprehensive list of the measures that came into effect earlier this year from the Confederation's website
Roll out of the new Single Oversight Framework
On 1 October, NHS Improvement’s Single Oversight Framework comes into effect, replacing Monitor’s Risk Assessment Framework and the NHS Trust Development Authority’s Accountability Framework.
The framework is designed to help NHS Improvement identify NHS providers' potential support needs across five themes: quality of care, finance and use of resources, operational performance, strategic change, and leadership and improvement capability.
It applies to both NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts.
Full details can be found on NHS Improvement’s website.
Collection and review of cancer data
From 1 October, CCGs and local networks are required to collect and review local monthly data on cancer waiting times, to support the implementation of the national cancer breach allocation guidance.
The guidance also states that: “In the interests of national consistency, local breach allocation policies based on a 38-day handover standard and local data capture should be in place from 1 October across all cancer providers.”
Details can be found in this letter, dated 29 March 2016.
NHS Improvement has also updated Delivering cancer waiting times: A good practice guide.
Submission of GP access data
Every GP practice in England will be required to submit a new online access return twice a year through the Primary Care Web Tool, as detailed in the GP contract for 2016/17.
This will set out what access to appointments the practice offers patients, either itself or through some other arrangements.
Further details can be found in an NHS England letter to heads of primary care issued on 26 September 2016.
NHS Employers’ website has full details on GMS contract changes for 2016/17.
Primary care commissioning activity
Local primary care teams (NHS England and CCGs) will now report on primary care commissioning activity on a biannual basis.
This will be done via the completion of the primary care commissioning activity report (PCAR), a newly introduced biannual collection to “support greater assurance and oversight of NHS England’s primary care commissioning responsibilities, and inform the strategic direction for general practice.”
Guidance on how to complete the PCAR can be found on NHS England’s website.
Transition to new junior doctors’ contract
Phased implementation of the new junior doctors’ contract begins, transitioning obstetrics ST3 and above to new terms and conditions.
Full details on the new contract and the implementation timetable can be found on the NHS Employers website.
Language requirements for patient/public-facing roles
New English language requirements for public sector roles come into force on 1 October, as mandated in part seven of the Immigration Act 2016.
The Code of practice on the English language requirement for public sector workers, published by the government, outlines what will be expected of employers in the NHS when recruiting staff into patient/public-facing roles.
It provides examples of the level of language proficiency expected from new and existing staff and the policies and procedures needed to ensure compliance with legislation.
Access the Code of practice from the NHS Employers website.