It’s been reported that around 300 NHS Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) staff are facing redundancy in the first wave of management job cuts since last April’s reorganisation. NHS England has confirmed there would be a 3% reduction in staffing levels in commissioning support units (CSUs), “so that resources are focused on frontline services, and taxpayers’ money is used effectively”. NHS Mangers have expressed alarm at the scale of the downsizing.
Pete from PSI: The CSU market is due to be reformed entirely over the next couple of years, with NHS England committed to a full automisation of CSU functions by 2016. NHS England last week ruled out the full privatisation of CSUs, partly because of a lack of support from CCGs meaning that, according to the organisation, “without the support of customers a CSU would not have a sustainable future”. A ‘lead provider’ framework for commissioning support functions has been proposed, with CSUs across the country in the process of agreeing formal merger agreements to enhance their capabilities in offering support services. The
The other options post-automisation for CSUs are: a social enterprise; a staff owned mutual or a “customer controlled social enterprise” in which CSUs retained a stake.” Private sector partners will still have the opportunity to invest in CSUs via a joint venture option, although this would be subject to “close scrutiny” from NHS England, which could mean the imposition of limits on executive remuneration or amount of profit the CSU would be able to make, as the Department of Health has concerns over the possibility of negative publicity if CSU leaders began awarding themselves large pay rises shortly after automisation.
Further information isdue by way of an NHS England paper this spring: