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GPC set to oppose co-commissioning of primary care

GP leaders have rejected plans for CCGs to co-commission primary care, warning that such a move will ‘fatally damage relations’ between practices and commissioners

Delegates at the LMCs Conference expressed their ‘alarm’ at moves by NHS England to give CCGs control of the GP contract, warning it would lead to ‘unacceptable’ conflicts of interest.

The local leaders voted in favour of the motion, which added that the proposals will ‘undermine the credibility of CCGs’ and will now ‘insist that GP core contracts should not be held by CCGs’.

Proposing the motion, Dr Aneel Bikhu of Nottinghamshire LMC told the conference the GPC should petition NHS England and the Department of Health to learn from the problems of PCTs.

Dr Bikhu said: ‘We should urge the Secretary of State, and the NHS’s new chief executive, to pause for a moment to consider the lessons of history and allow CCGs to continue their work in their present form, without the distraction and potential cause of future conflict that co-commissioning of GP contracts represents.’

Dr Mitch Garsin of Hillingdon LMC, also speaking in favour of the motion, told the conference commissioning with clinical leadership had been working successfully.

But he added: ‘Now we’re faced with the ultimate poisoned chalice, so called co-commissioning.’

‘Some of my colleagues in CCGs see its potential to bring much needed money and resources into general practice… other, darker elements in CCG leadership see it as a way to performance manage a profession, to harass our less finance savvy, more patient-centred colleagues out of existence.’

Speaking against the motion, Dr Barry Moyse of Somerset LMC criticised the motion’s ‘absolutist language’.

He told the conference: ‘I oppose most of this motion, not because of co-commissioning not having risks associated with it. But because of the absolutist language of the text.’

NHS England leaders are currently developing proposals that will allow CCGs to take a greater role in co-commissioning primary care.

All parts of motion 11 were carried by the conference.

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Motion 11 in full

AGENDA COMMITTEE to be proposed by NOTTINGHAMSHIRE That conference views with alarm proposals contained in NHS England’s (NHSE) interim response to the ‘call for action for general practice’ to make CCGs co-commissioners of GP contracts and

(i) believes that this will fatally damage relations between CCGs and their constituents CARRIED

(ii) warns that this will undermine CCGs’ chances of success in other areas of commissioning CARRIED

(iii) predicts this will undermine the credibility of CCGs CARRIED

(iv) asserts that conflicts of interests would be unacceptable CARRIED

(v) insists that GP core contracts should not be held by CCGs. CARRIED