NCB raises commissioning concerns with DH

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) is negotiating with the Department of Health (DH) over the future of children's services under the White Paper.

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is negotiating with the Department of Health (DH) over the future of children’s services under the White Paper.

NCB chief executive Paul Ennals said there was concern that, under the current proposals, there would be a fragmentation of commissioning.

He said that, although the White Paper has proposed health and well-being boards to bring together local authorities and health commissioners, there was a lack of clarity about what this would mean for children.

“It could be that local authorities are commissioning, GP consortia are doing it, local authority health and well-being boards doing some and the national NHS commissioning board doing some too,” said Ennals.

The NCB has urged the DH to make the health and wellbeing boards responsible for overseeing all children’s health, social care and education to ensure young people’s needs were met.

It would avoid a situation where gaps in children’s services occurred because of multiple commissioners.

“We want to see a framework that would work for children,” said Ennals. “It might even make things work better than children’s trusts have managed.”

The proposed model would be consistent with Sir Ian Kennedy’s proposals in his recent report Getting it right for children and young people: Overcoming cultural barriers in the NHS so as to meet their needs.

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