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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Peter Goodall: 'Whatever power we have is going to do very little'

GPs have been told many times that they will have more power and it has not materialised. This time is not likely to be any different, says Dr Peter Goodall.

I think CCGs are shackled a lot. In Southampton, we have always been fairly active in PCGs and PCTs and as active as possible in these CCGs.

I just feel the Department of Health basically tells us what is going to happen. They always have and nothing has changed. I don’t think it will change. We’ve been told year after year that we will have more power at local level – we’ll be able to influence decisions, we’ll be able to commission things locally.

But the biggest problem is we just don’t have the money. We can’t free up money from secondary care to put into things that are necessary in primary care. There are loads of other pressures affecting general practice at the moment and to some extent GPs are just putting their heads down and getting on with their work and not taking much interest in what is going on.

Locally, our CCG has tried to engage with local practices. They have got all local practices to go to meetings, to talk to them.

But it is still a very centrally led system. We have got remnants of PCGs almost directing how things should happen, how we should do things.

One of the problems is that the people who put themselves up to be on CCGs are the same old faces. They are the ones who were prepared to stick their heads above the parapet. A lot of us either haven’t got the time or the information to do it.

I wouldn’t say we were powerless, but whatever power we have got is going to do very little. 

Dr Peter Goodall is a GP in Southampton

Readers' comments (3)

  • Nothing has really changed - CCG are really sheep in wolfs clothing ie no beter if not worse than PCTs bringing with them the same bad behaviours and disrespect for GPs

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  • As one of the newer GPs to have put my 'head above the parapet', this article is not very encouraging. I have seen commissioners behaving very differently to the past, and taking real account of clinical views. If GPs do not put themselves forwards and get involved in a positive way, then we will end up with a management led NHS, so these comments are self-fulfilling! It would be more useful if those with past experience of failing to improve things helped us learn from the mistakes, to improve what we are trying to do.

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  • Mark @28 March 2013 10:10am
    What an extraordinarily naive chap you are.If there is no money in the kitty then there is bugger all the GPs can do,is there? except for becoming the whipping boys of both the public and the government when the services are cut back.Don't tell me you didn't see this coming.Why do you think the CCGs were created in the first place?

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