Exclusive: New STP lead reveals five CCGs target single provider contracts

Published: 22 Aug 2017 By James Illman

The news comes as local CCG chief officer Antek Lejk has been appointed executive lead of the Norfolk and Waveney sustainability and transformation partnership.

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Mr Lejk, who will remain joint chief officer of North Norfolk and South Norfolk CCGs, took over the STP role after Norfolk County Council managing director Wendy Thomson stood down earlier this month. She said it was “the right time” for an NHS manager to lead the project.

Mr Lejk told HSJ that proposals for a “joint executive committee [in charge of] developing single contracts with our main providers” would be voted on by all five CCGs at their September board meetings.

He said: “We don’t want to do things five times when we could only do once. If you have three acute trusts and five CCGs all developing slightly different relationships, it’s [like a] spider’s web and it gets messy.

“We want to encourage better joint working across the acute trusts so eventually we can say ‘these are the outcomes we want to achieve… let’s not have 15 conversations, let’s just have one’. Our ideal would be to have a single conversation with our acute colleagues which is a one to one relationship.”

He said there was not an “appetite” for CCGs to merge because “people cherished their localism” and while he wanted contracts agreed at system level, “service delivery will be done locally”.

Plans are at a very early stage but the CCGs are aiming to have arrangements in place for 2018-19, he said.

The providers in the STP, including the three acute trusts, set out plans last year to establish the “Norfolk provider partnership”. The project has been subsumed by the STP. HSJ understands significant work is also required on the provider side before the architecture required for a “single conversation” could be in place.

The three acute foundation trusts are Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, Queen Elizabeth King’s Lynn, and James Paget.

Mr Lejk said while the “real ambition” was to have “conversations around population outcomes, rather than contracts”, the best structure to achieve these aims had not been decided on.

Mr Lejk became South Norfolk CCG’s chief officer in January 2016 and took on North Norfolk CCG in September. His appointment to the STP follows former health secretary Patricia Hewitt becoming independent chair of the STP in July.

Ms Hewitt said: “I am delighted that Antek has agreed to take on the role of executive lead for our STP. He is a respected figure in the local health and care system and is passionate about bringing teams together to work for the benefit of local people.”

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