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BMA chair: CCGs risk becoming disconnected from most GPs

The BMA chair has warned the NHS could be heading towards a worst case scenario where CCGs were ‘disconnected’ from most GPs and were operating without grassroots support.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham last week, Dr Mark Porter warned CCGs were drawing up ‘irresponsible’ constitutions which leave GP practices accountable to the CCGs rather than the other way around.

He said this was making GPs disillusioned with clinical commissioning and that the worst case scenario was that in five years CCGs will be operated by an isolated group of GPs.

He said: ‘We are getting a lot of reports about GPs who are getting disillusioned because of this and are dropping out of engagement with CCGs.’

‘Should our fears be well founded, then we are on a path that could see these groups in five or ten years operating without the necessary involvement from all GPs within their area.

‘The worst case scenario is that by 2017 we see a series of groups that are operated by an enthusiastic minority, rather than by all GPs and are disconnected from and unaccountable to the majority of the working profession, and disheartened GPs operating an organisation which is struggling with its mission.’

However, Dr Johnny Marshall, a GP in Wendover, Bucks and interim partnership development director of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said he found  the level of engagement between GPs and CCGs was on an upward rather than downward trajectory.

He said: ‘If you are looking at the organisation process there are some areas where engagement isn’t happening. It takes time to build up those relationships so we would recognise that in some places it is not going as well as in others.

‘But most of what we hear is that that is an improving position in terms of engagement with commissioning groups – not a deteriorating position.’

Readers' comments (6)

  • This is under the assumption that grassroots are engaged now.Are they?

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  • Were the CCGs ever really engaged with anyone?

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  • Grassroots GPs are full of additional paperwork without any support or reward and they are completely fad-up with unnecessary work mainly related to rationing. GPs have no time to know the CCG, and are simply doing whatever they are asked to do.
    Rationing can be avoided by benchmarking the dentist contract, where everyone pays a % of the cost involved but there is no rationing.

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  • Worst case scenario that CCGs will be disconnected from CCGs?

    No, the worst case scenario is that CCGs will do exactly as their designers planned and ease the agreed handover of primary care in England to the US halthcare industry. Those corporations designed the NHS reform, and they are the beneficiaries, with the rest of us (patients, taxpayers and staff) correspondingly the losers.

    Really you GPs are a pretty incurious lot - why aren't you asking proper questions instead of accepting every insincere assurance from career politicians and management consultants, all of which appear to have a great deal to gain from NHS privatisation?

    This is your livelihoods as well as your patients' lives on the line here - do us all a favour and stop being so easily gulled.

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  • A former patient of mine was in a casualty in Florida, USA for 3 hours with abdominal pain. He had a scan and pain relief for his renal stone - bill $ 12,000.00. Wow! Private medicine is coming. Be afraid. The NHS is great value. Our profit per patient per year is £ 48.00.

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  • Well said. The whole set up is a pancea for privatisation. While well meaning commissions and groups struggle to cope with the changes, organisational change fundemental theories would suggest that the the new architecture is designed to pave for privatisation through internal the conflict.
    By the way the chief Architect has conviniently left the building ! its a wake up call if ever I saw one.

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