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Accountable Care Organisations: Publicity

Question for Department of Health

UIN 9710, tabled on 11 September 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to inform the public about the Accountable Care System and Accountable Care Organisation process.

Answered on

18 September 2017

NHS England published its delivery plan ‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ in March 2017. This plan identified likely Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) that had the potential to evolve into Accountable Care Systems (ACSs), whilst also highlighting the specific deliverables that ACSs are expected to contain. For example, some footprints that are starting to work as a locally integrated health system, taking on clear collective responsibility for resources and population health. ‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/NEXT-STEPS-ON-THE-NHS-FIVE-YEAR-FORWARD-VIEW.pdf

In his speech, addressing the NHS Confederation in Liverpool in June 2017, Simon Stevens further updated the list of STPs that had the potential to evolve into ACSs. Further information about that can be found here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2017/06/nhs-moves-to-end-fractured-care-system/

In relation to Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs), on 4 August 2017 NHS England published an updated draft of the NHS Standard Contract – NHS Standard Contract (Accountable Care Models) (ACO Contract) and support package. NHS England have engaged with key stakeholders in the development of this contract and will continue to work with leading commissioners to develop this contract further over the next year, with a view to consulting on a final version in 2018.

The Department is currently consulting on proposals to make a number of changes to regulations that are required to facilitate this new contract. This consultation is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/accountable-care-models-contract-proposed-changes-to-regulations.

The Department expects clinical commissioning groups, when procuring ACO contracts, to assure themselves that they have satisfied their legal duties, including the need to consult local populations. The Government has set clear guidelines and tests to ensure that any significant reconfigurations have demonstrated strong public and patient engagements. Furthermore, those changes must be backed by a clear clinical evidence base and a credible plan to improve performance without affecting patient care. NHS England has processes in place to ensure this.