NHS England to support COBIC approach to securing better patient outcomes

The launch event at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London, brought together healthcare leaders from CCGs and CSUs, all keen to adopt outcomes based commissioning for their populations. Bob Ricketts’s opening address called for a much-needed transformation in the commissioning landscape.

Bob Ricketts CBE, Director of Commissioning Support Services Strategy for NHS England, speaking at the COBIC Club launch said, “Clinical Commissioning Groups need to innovate if they are to bring about the real transformation in clinical services the NHS needs”. He saw COBIC as a radical innovation that would help CSUs and CCGs succeed. Mr Ricketts’s went on to pledge NHS England’s support for COBIC - an outcomes based commissioning approach to securing better outcomes for patients and value for the taxpayer.

Mr Ricketts’s reflected, “…the NHS challenges are enormous, with demographics and demand going the wrong way. Commissioners must grab clinical transformation and make it happen, or face failure from being locked into high levels of investment in outmoded delivery systems. I, and my colleagues at NHS England see COBIC as crucial in supporting service transformation at pace and scale.”

“Commissioners need to be bold, be radical, and take population based commissioning seriously. We need to move to a model where the risk and care co-ordination is transferred from the commissioner, where we target effort and resources on those people who most need high quality integrated care, those frail older people with, complex multiple problems, individuals approaching the end of life – and we work to secure the best outcomes for them.

“There are various methodologies to do this, but COBIC is a radical innovation that NHS England fully supports. NHS England wants to advocate the wider use of COBIC and sponsor organisationally the COBIC Club. I encourage CSUs to skill up around COBIC and support CCGs to actively use it.”

On the launch of the COBIC Club, which brings together like-minded commissioners, Ricketts’s added, “It’s an incredibly positive step to now have a club that enables networking, mutual support, commissioning innovation, supported by NHS England.”  

All members of the COBIC Club benefit from sharing work underway, collaborative working, access to the COBIC evidence base, and engage directly with leaders nationally and internationally in commissioning and service delivery innovation.

Leaders also heard from CCGs pioneering the COBIC approach, including, Dr Diane Gray from Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, where COBIC contracts are set to go-live in early 2014 and transform how patients receive musculoskeletal care. Delegates also heard from Dr Stephen Richards and Catherine Mountford, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, who spoke of the progress towards outcomes based contracts across maternity, mental health, and older people.

Dr Nicholas Nicks, COBIC Chief Executive, comments “The UK health care system is in need of a radical transformation. We believe COBIC which combines capitation and outcomes based incentives is a valuable tool that will make the transformation real.”

COBIC’s prime focus is to support commissioners to develop and put into practice innovative approaches that reward better outcomes for patients and more efficient use of taxpayers’ money.