Submission. The word meant a lot in Bassetlaw last week. We've had it on calendars, discussed deadlines for completing it and finally achieved it. Our authorisation documents were finally uploaded along with the other 34 CCGs in wave 1.
So how was it? Was submission, as the word suggests, 'an act of yielding oneself to a superior force or to the will of another' ?
We have always aimed to do submission as part of the day job. We had most of the policies and documents already as part of our CCG development. We did have some key tasks: updating the constitution to reflect national guidance and advice, repeating our self-diagnostic and subsequent OD plan, and describing work already done in case studies. And changed our name. Bassetlaw Commissioning Organisation is dead, long live NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group.
The name change posed a challenge. We had built a lot of awareness locally in the name of BCO and reassured patients that there was a future once the PCT vanished. A lot of effort has since gone into reassuring people this recent development is a change in name only.
I have to confess to doing very little once it came to submission. This was partly due to the fact that we had a lot of the documents, but mainly due to an excellent (small) team who put in a huge amount of discretionary effort to signpost evidence and upload 200 documents. The technology worked, thankfully, and we can now get back to actual commissioning. Despite our best efforts authorisation dominated at least a week.
The feeling at Bassetlaw is that this has been a beneficial process. We have reviewed all our documents, challenged ourselves in front of our members and had an excellent 360 degree survey which has made our work on engagement seem worthwhile. We need to build on this.
We have responsibility for a lot of public money and patient services. Authorisation to date has felt proportionate to this. Difficult to get right, but necessary.
We now await feedback regarding gaps in evidence and 'key lines of enquiry' before our site visit on the 12th September. I hope I'm as positive after that.