The LMC has an important role in working with the Area Teams towards the common goal of securing excellence in primary care provision. We do this in a number of ways, including representation on key decision making groups, informal day to day contact on performance and contractual issues and through regular liaison meetings.
There are 2 Area Teams that the LMC deals with, The Lancashire Area Team and the Cumbria Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (CNTW) Area Team.
Their functions are:
- Manage relationships with providers
- Manage all primary care contracts
- Plan services which meet national standards and local ambitions, ensuring patients, public and key stakeholders are involved
- Implement nationally developed care pathways and frameworks in the context of local health economy
- Secure services, using the contracting route that will deliver the best quality and outcomes
- Use commissioning intelligence to monitor, assess and, where necessary, challenge the quality of services
- Use standard operating policies and procedures
- Commission Direct Enhanced Services
There is an overlap in the responsibilities between NHS England Area Teams and CCGs. Two documents produced by NHS England describe the delegation of certain primary care medical functions to CCGs.
“Primary Medical Care Functions delegated to Clinical Commissioning Groups” describes the transitional LES arrangements and Out of Hours primary medical services.
The “Primary Medical Services Assurance Framework” confirms that contractual management of primary medical services is the sole responsibility of the Area Teams, but CCGs have a statutory duty to assist the Area Team in improving the quality of primary care.