CO01 Access and Choice Policy
The policy has been reviewed in light of new guidance ‘Department of Health Choice Framework – 2015’.
It sets out the mechanisms that the CCG will adopt to fulfil its legal obligations in relation to choice.

CO02 – Complaints Policy
The policy is designed to outline the process for handling complaints generated by patients or their representatives and aims to set out clear guidelines for staff, managers and complainants about how complaints will be managed

CO03 – MCA and DOLS Policy
The policy has been developed, merging two previous policies into one,  in light of new guidance and should be read in conjunction with the:

The Mental Capacity Act: Code of Practice

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS): Code of Practice

CO04 Fire Safety Policy
This document sets out the CCGs’ approach to minimising the incidence of fire within its premises and the impact of fire on life safety, delivery of service, the environment and property.

CO05-Counter Fraud Bribery and Corruption Policy

This policy has been produced by the lead nominated Local Counter Fraud Specialist and is designed to encourage vigilance and provide practical counter fraud response guidance for all employees. The CCG is committed to reducing the level of fraud, bribery and corruption (economic crime) to an absolute minimum, keeping it at that level and freeing up public resources for better patient care. One of the aims of the policy is to improve the knowledge and understanding of everyone in the CCG, irrespective of their position, about the risk of fraud and corruption within and against the organisation and its unacceptability.

CO06 Health and Safety Policy
This policy sets out CCG procedures to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, clients, patients, students, contractors, visitors and members of the general public.

The policy was reviewed with no major amendments.   It sets out the CCG’s approach to the management of incidents in fulfilment of its strategic objectives and statutory obligations.

The reporting of incidents will help the CCG identify potential breaches in its core business including breaches in:

  • contractual obligations;
  • internal processes;
  • performance targets;
  • service specifications;
  • statutory duties.

This policy will enable the organisation to learn lessons from adverse events and supports implementation of action to prevent incidents reoccurring.  Reported incidents will be periodically analysed and results will be shared with directorates, departments and stakeholders where appropriate. The reporting and management process uses a root cause approach to analyse incidents.

Incident Reporting and Management User Guide

CO08 – Intellectual Property Management Policy
This document outlines a policy for the effective management of IP and gives a brief definition of what intellectual property is.

CO10 Moving and Handling
This document sets out the CCGs’ approach to minimising the incidence of manual handling injuries within its premises and the impact of manual handling on health and well-being, delivery of service, the environment and property.

Please note – CO11 – Policy and Framework for Partnership Governance is now featured within policy CO18

CO12-Healthcare Procurement-Policy

This document outlines the process to ensure that procurement activity relating to clinical health services complies with relevant legislation and Department of Health guidance.  It provides guidance on when to use procurement, to outline key aspects of procurement and set out key considerations to take into account when undertaking a procurement process.

CO13 – Risk Management Policy

This policy has been reviewed with no major changes and sets out the CCG’s approach to risk and the management of risk in fulfilment of its overall objectives. In addition the adoption and embedding within the organisation of an effective risk management framework and processes will ensure that the reputation of the CCG is maintained and enhanced, and its resources are used effectively to ensure business success, continuing financial strength and to ensure continuous quality improvement in its operating model.

CO14-Safeguarding and Looked After Children Policy
This policy outlines the responsibilities of the CCG in applying the Children’s Act Code of Practice, with regard to ensuring that as Commissioners of services, these responsibilities are also adopted by those that we commission services from.

CO15 – Safeguarding Adults Policy
The policy aims to ensure all CCG staff are aware of their specific roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding adults and know how and when to raise a concern.  It also outlines the role of the Named and Designated professionals. The policy is designed to take into account the principles identified within the Care Act Guidance 2014 and the “Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Reformed NHS: Accountability and Assurance Framework 2013. As a commissioning organisation the CCG has an explicit responsibility to ensure provider compliance around adult safeguarding, this is clearly identified within the policy.

Please note that there is a separate policy for use within primary care.

CO16 Security Policy
This document outlines the CCG’s commitment to promoting and improving the security of its premises/assets and the safety of staff, patients and visitors to the CCG.

CO17-Serious Incident Management Policy

The policy has been reviewed in light of new guidance. It outlines the process and procedures to ensure that serious incidents (SIs) and never events (NEs) are identified, investigated and learned from as set out in the Serious Incident Framework 2015/16 and Never Event Framework 2015/16. This revised Framework replaces the Serious Incident Framework and Never Event Framework published in 2013.

CO18 – Standards of Business Conduct and Conflicts of Interest Policy
The policy has been updated to take into account new guidance, “Managing Conflicts of Interest: Revised Statutory Guidance for CCGs

The purpose of this policy is to ensure exemplary standards of business conduct are adhered to, as public servants, by Governing Body members, Committee and Sub-committee members and employees of the CCG (as well as individuals contracted to work on behalf of the CCG or otherwise providing services or facilities to the CCG such as those within commissioning support services).   Through this Policy individuals will be aware of their own responsibilities as well as the CCG’s responsibilities as corporate bodies (including the constituent Member Practices).  The Policy also sets out the responsibilities of the CCG as an employer, especially in light of the individual and corporate obligations set out in the Bribery Act 2010.

CO19 Violence and Aggression
The aim of this policy document is to reduce the risks, so far as it is reasonably practicable, for staff. It applies to all employees of the CCG and in particular deals with the issue of violence, aggression and abuse against a member of its staff by a member of the public (i.e. patient, member of the patient’s family, member of the public etc.).

CO21 – Management of General Practitioner Performance Concerns Policy
The policy has been reviewed recently and the conflicts of interest section has been made more robust.  It is a corporate policy and procedure for the management and handling of performance concerns related to general practitioners working within the CCGs.

CO22 – Expenses reimbursement policy
This is a policy for the CCG which sets out the responsibilities for all CCG staff and any third party commissioned by the CCG to undertake patient, carer and public engagement activity on its behalf. It explains the implications for benefits, employment law and tax, enabling local people to make an informed choice about receiving expenses and what this may mean for them.

This policy has been developed in conjunction with members of patient groups within the CCG.  Input has also been sought from Durham County Council’s Welfare Rights Team in the development of this policy to ensure that all involved are fully aware of how reimbursement of expenses can impact on benefits and HM Revenue and Customs rules.

CO29 – Policy for the Development and Approval of Policies

The policy outlines the process that the CCG will use to develop new policies.

CO30 – Electronic Signature Policy

The policy sets out the functional requirements for electronic signatures and defines acceptable uses of electronic signatures for signing documents, electronically as an equivalent to a hand written signature.

Value Based Commissioning Policy April 2019

Across the country most, if not all, CCGs have a set of policies and procedures for limiting the number of low clinical value interventions.

All CCGs in the North East have adopted a common set of policies since 2010. These are the VBCCP.

Please see the frequently asked questions for more detail.

Human Resources Policies 

HR02 Absence Management policy
The purpose of the policy is to set out the CCG’s approach to the management of absence and attendance within the workplace. The policy will also set out guidance to staff and managers about their responsibilities in relation to Absence Management.

HR03 Adoption Policy – approved EiC 170516
The Adoption Leave policy is designed to implement the statutory rights to leave following the placement of a child for adoption.

HR04 Annual Leave Policy

The aim of the Annual Leave Policy is to ensure a uniform and equitable approach to the calculation of annual leave and general public holiday entitlements which take into account the arrangements as defined under NHS Terms and Conditions.

HR05 Career Break Policy
The Career Break Policy has been designed to allow employees the opportunity to take an unpaid break from their employment, of up to 5 years.

HR06 Change Management Policy

The purpose of this document is to set out the CCG’s approach to the management of organisational change and the procedures that should be followed by managers wishing to implement major change.

HR07 Disciplinary Policy
The policy aims to encourage employees to achieve and maintain the required standards of conduct, performance and attendance.

HR08 Equality and Diversity Policy
This document sets out the CCG’s commitment to equality of opportunity for all employees and is committed to employment practices, policies and procedures which ensure that no employee, or potential employee, receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief, age, trade union membership, disability, offending background, domestic circumstances, social and employment status, HIV status, gender reassignment, political affiliation or any other personal characteristic. Diversity will be viewed positively and, in recognising that everyone is different, the unique contribution that each individual’s experience, knowledge and skills can make is valued equally.

HR09 Flexible Working Policy
This policy sets out the flexible working arrangements that are available within the organisation and is supplemented by separate policies on different options.

HR10 Further Education Training and Development Policy
This document details the procedure for staff who wish to undertake further education and training.

HR11 Grievance Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all grievances are resolved as quickly as possible and also, wherever practicable, at the level at which they arise without the fear of recrimination.

HR12 Harassment and Bullying at Work Policy
This policy is designed to ensure that all complaints of harassment are dealt with objectively, quickly, sensitively, and confidentially.

HR13 Induction Policy
This policy ensures all staff are clear about the requirements of their role and have an overall understanding of the CCG.

HR14 Job Evaluation Policy

This policy is designed to ensure that all posts within the organisation are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner.

HR16 Managing Work Performance Policy

This document establishes the CCG’s requirements in the standards of work to be achieved by its staff, which will be realistic and clearly defined. In order to fulfil this responsibility the organisation will ensure that individual employees’ work is monitored fairly.

HR17 Maternity Policy
This policy is designed to provide a framework across the organisation for a consistent and timely to approach to the new and expectant mother.

HR18 Appraisal Policy
This Appraisal Policy sets out the CCG’s approach to performance review and to talent management.

HR19 Other Leave Policy
This policy document sets out the CCG’s commitment to helping employees balance the demands of domestic and work responsibilities by the provision of paid and unpaid leave subject to exigencies of the service.

HR20 – Parental Leave Policy
This document sets out the parental leave entitlements provided to enable employees to take time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for a child’s welfare.

HR22 Paternity Leave Policy
This policy details the arrangements within the Organisation in relation to paternity leave and pay.

HR24 Professional Registration Policy
The policy aims to ensure that all staff required to be registered with a statutory regulatory organisation/body to practice their specialty/field, are fully aware of their contractual obligation to be registered. The document sets out the role and responsibilities, the monitoring arrangements and the procedure for and implications for lapsed registration.

HR25 Recruiting Ex-Offenders Policy
This document sets out how the CCG uses the Disclosure service provided by the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust.

HR26 Recruitment and Retention Premia Policy
The aim of the Recruitment and Retention Policy is to ensure that the CCG remunerates all of its employees at a level at which recruitment and retention difficulties will not be encountered. This Policy also takes full account of the arrangements for the policy as defined under the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service.

HR27 Recruitment and Selection Policy
The Recruitment and Selection Policy is designed to support managers in providing a fair, consistent and effective approach to the recruitment of all employees and to help managers deal with recruitment and selection effectively and consistently.

HR28 Redeployment Policy
This policy is designed to assist all employees who are at risk of losing their job as a result of ill health capability, performance, redundancy or end of a fixed term contract of over a year.

HR29 Retirement Policy

This policy is designed to assist employees who are considering or have taken the decision to retire from service and outlines the options available and support that can be expected from management.

HR30 Secondment Policy
This policy facilitates the secondment of CCG staff both internally within the organisation and externally within the wider NHS and exceptionally with other non NHS Bodies. It is also designed to encourage staff from external organisations to take up a secondment where available within the Organisation, for the mutual benefit of both organisations.

HR31 Substance Misuse Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide managers with guidance for managing the effects of substance misuse by employees.

HR32 Temporary Promotion Policy
The aim of this policy is to ensure a fair and equitable approach across the CCG to situations in which an individual may be asked to temporarily work, either wholly or partly, in a higher pay band for a significant period of time.

HR33 Training and Development Policy

The purpose of the CCG’s Training and Development Policy is to ensure that the CCG is resourced, at all times, with people who have the appropriate competence and experience to enable the CCG to achieve its purpose and meet future needs.

HR34 Travel and Expenses Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide a structured framework to claiming travel expenses, practical guidance to staff and managers on process and procedure and ensure that travel expenses are claimed in a consistent, accurate and timely way.

HR35 Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Policy V3 approved EiC 170221
This policy aims to encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns regarding the practice of the organisation, provide avenues for employees to raise those concerns and receive feedback on any action taken, ensure that employees receive a response to their concerns, reassure employees that they will be protected from possible reprisals, subsequent discrimination, victimisation or disadvantage if they have a reasonable belief that they have made any disclosure in good faith.

HR36 Working Time Directive Policy

This document sets out the European Working Time Regulations entitlements of employees to maximum working hours, rest periods, rest breaks whilst at work, annual leave and working arrangements for night workers.

HR37 Incremental Pay Progression Framework Policy approved ME 160927
This framework focuses on enhancing the effective management of annual pay progression through robust annual appraisals to ensure the personal development of the employee and the efficiency of the organisation.

HR39 Shared Parental Leave Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide managers and employees with information and guidance about entitlements to shared parental leave relating to conditions of service, and to provide the basis for a clear understanding of the nature and period of leave, paid and unpaid, that will apply in particular circumstances.

HR40 Managing Allegations against Staff Policy – V1 final approved EiC 170516

This policy outlines how, as a commissioning organisation, North Durham CCG will effectively fulfil its legal duties and statutory responsibilities with regard to managing allegations against staff.  The policy applies to all CCG staff and anyone working on behalf of or undertaking work or volunteering for the CCG, including those staff registered as Performers on the National Performers’ List ie GPs.  Each GP practice is responsible for ensuring it has a policy in place for managing allegations against staff that they employ.

HR41 Domestic Abuse in the Workplace Policy V1 final approved EiC 170516

This policy ensures that staff who are both victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse are aware of the support that is available within the organisation. It also provides guidance to line managers when supporting staff who are affected by domestic abuse.

HR43 Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work Policy

HR44 Volunteer Policy

HR45 Work Experience Policy

HR46 Relocation Expenses Policy

Information Governance

IG01 – Confidentiality Data Protection Policy

This policy relates to the processing of personal information and to the management of personal information about staff,patients/service users. The CCG is required by law to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, which is concerned with the lawful processing of information relating to living individuals.To comply with the law staff or others who process personal information must ensure they follow the Data Protection Principles and the Caldicott Principles.The obligation to keep information confidential arises out of the common law duty of confidentiality, professional obligations and staff/third party contracts. The HS code of Practice: Confidentiality provides guidance to the NHS and related organisations. These duties  and obligations mean that all staff with access to confidential personal information must keep that information safe and secure.

IG02 – Data Quality Policy
This policy is designed to ensure that the importance of data quality within the CCGs is disseminated to all staff. It will describe the meaning of data quality, who is responsible for its maintenance and how it can continue to improve in the future. Although this policy relates to patient/service user data and information, the principles included are applicable to any other data/information staff may encounter i.e. recording of minutes, etc.

IG03 – Information Governance Information Risk Policy
This policy relates to information governance and information risk management as a vital asset, both in terms of the management of health and social care for individual patients/service users and the efficient management of services and resources. It plays a key part in governance, service planning and performance management. Information risk management is an essential component of information governance and is an integral part of good management practice. The intent is to embed information risk management in a practical way into business processes and functions.

IG04 – Information Access Policy
This policy relates to all information and records held by or on behalf of the CCGs whether computerised, paper or any other permanent storage media, including photographic, video and voice recordings and is supported by appropriate procedures to assist staff in complying with the CCGs statutory obligations. This policy will be available on the internet in line with the Guide to Information.

IG05 – Information Security Policy
This policy document sets out the detailed procedures, rules and standards governing information security that all users of the CCG’s information systems must comply with. This policy document states the CCG’s commitment to information security and sets out the CCG’s overall approach to managing information security.

IG06 – Records Management Policy Strategy
This policy sets out the principles of records management for the CCG. It provides a framework for the consistent and effective management of records that is standards based and fully integrated with other information governance initiatives within the CCG. Records management is necessary to support the business of the CCG and to meet its obligations in terms of legislation and national guidelines.

IG07 – Internet and Email Acceptable Use Policy
This policy sets out the expectations of the CCG for the proper use of its e-mail systems and compliments other information Gg use of the internet and e-mail by:

• setting out the rules governing the sending, receiving and storing of e-mail,
• establishing user rights and responsibilities for the use of systems,
• promoting adherence to current legal requirements and NHS information governance standards.

IG08 – Social Media Policy
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to CCG staff on social media/networking on the internet and external use of the other online tools such as blogs, discussion forums and interactive news sites. It seeks to give direction to staff in the use of these tools and help them to understand the ways they can use social media to help achieve business goals. This is a rapidly changing area and this policy is expected to be updated and amended as communication strategies evolve.

The Public Contracts Regulations

When procuring goods or services over the set financial thresholds a Contracting Authority must consider their obligations under the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) 2015.