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Two CCG chairs resign over workload pressures

Exclusive Two CCG chairs have resigned barely four months since they took over from PCTs, posts saying increased practice workload as a result of the imposed GP contract have prevented them from continuing.

The development follows warnings by the BMA before April that the imposed contract for 2013/14 would lead to CCG leaders being unable to continue their roles.

The CCG chairs of both Lewisham and Hull said they have left their roles because they were unable to continue devoting the required time to their practice to keep their practice incomes up.

Dr Helen Tattersfield, the former chair of Lewisham CCG, who was in the spotlight over the Government’s decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital A&E, a decision later reversed by the courts, will be replaced on 1 September.

She told Pulse that this was because of an increase in workload and the unpredictable payments from NHS England meant she could no longer continue.

She told Pulse: ‘Because of the changes in the primary care contracting, there has been a lot of uncertainty about payment and claiming it, so [as a practice] we have had to concentrate to make sure things would happen, compared with the past when you knew the money you were getting.

‘There is extra QOF and it all requires a lot more attention so it was difficult to balance those things.’

She added: ‘Chair commitments are rather unpredictable and tend to migrate into days that should be clinical and expectation is to attend meetings at very short notice which is not compatible with good patient care as it can require cancelling surgeries.

‘Also although the pay may seem generous by the time you have paid locums to back fill there is little real income from doing the position which does not go down well with practice manager and colleagues.’

Dr Tony Banerjee, chair of Hull CCG, stepped down on the 2nd August saying there had been ‘increasing pressures on both roles’ and said there has been an increase in patient demand in the past few months.

He told the Hull Daily Mail: ‘It is with a really heavy heart I’m having to do it. But it has been so hard juggling my two roles as GP and as CCG chairman.

He said: ‘The practice is getting increasingly busy… I just don’t have the time to do both, and I am a GP first and foremost.’

Pulse reported earlier this year that a member of the Stoke on Trent CCG board, Dr Chandra Kanneganti, had to step down because of workload pressures while another, Dr Grant Ingrams, left his role on Coventry and Rugby CCG because of fears over competition regulations.

In its submission against the Government’s contract offer, the GPC warned in February that the contract will affect clinical commissioning.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Helen and tony are right, it's important we get primary care commissioning right to enable primary care to develop and practices are having to wait for/chase payments. It's essential GPs have the time to look at population health and local services.

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  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that no servant can serve two masters.

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  • This is certainly sad news as I am sure that these CCG chairs were very dedicated to doing a good job on behalf of their patients and the population. Their actions perhaps indicate that it is virtually impossible to do both roles well. It does not give me much hope for the future but was certainly inevitable. I commend them for returning to what they were trained to do and do best.

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  • Gov thought they could save £ by giving budget to GPs and come up with stupid ideas of cost cutting at the expense of patient care.
    GP initially thought it is about ''empowering GPs ''and ''facilitating patients'' as they are on ''driving seats''
    But now they are realising it is about saving money and putting GPs and Patints health at risk by overwork by GPs and stupid budget savings at the expense of patient care.
    I think all of us should realise ''never compromise our or patient's health at risk due to these new controversial health plans''

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  • Phil Yates

    My experience as PEC Chair of a PCT and Senior partner of a 14,000 patient practice is that two half jobs never make one whole. Fortunately in my case, the work could expand into my private time as my family had already grown up, but this is far from sustainable for many. There needs to be help with management training and a very supportive practice base for CCG Chairmanship to be achievable longer term - otherwise we'll lose more good leaders.

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