Poor data preventing progress17th July 2008
Managers across primary care trusts say that poor data is hampering them in making progress on world class commissioning.
Several have had to commission outside firms for social marketing research on the health needs of the local population.
However, many PCTs still believe they are moving towards world class commissioning standards to be ready for assessment at the end of the year, despite the benchmark relying on such data.
The concern comes after the Department of Health warned that trusts could do better at improving long term health and amid predictions from the PCT Network that only a handful of PCTs will score above levels one and two out of four on most world class commissioning competencies in their initial assessment.
Department of Health director of commissioning Gary Belfield warned that while some trusts would find their strategic plans accepted by the commissioning review panels, others would be "sent back to the drawing board."
Birmingham East and North PCT director of redesign and commissioning Andrew Donald said: "The things that are going to catch most people out are that they haven’t got a coherent strategy."
East and North Hertfordshire PCT chair Pam Handley pointed out that much of world class commissioning involved finding out about the needs of the local population and commissioning it but said that PCTs that had not got to grips with it by the time they were assessed would run into problems.
PCT Network director David Stout said there were problems with quality and speed of activity, performance and outcome data.
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