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BMA wants mandated representation of GP partners on ICS boards

patient safety watchdog

The BMA has called on NHS England to issue guidance to Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on the importance of including primary care provider representation on their boards.

In a letter to NHS England, the BMA said it had received reports that ‘only GPs employed from CCGs are representing primary care’ in some ICSs.

‘Those GPs are an important voice in terms of representing commissioners, but they cannot be seen as the representative of primary care providers,’ the BMA said.

‘LMCs, which are the local representative voice of general practice and primary care networks (PCNs), should also form part of the leadership team of ICSs’.

The letter also said that the Covid-19 pandemic had demonstrated the benefits of having a strong primary care provider voice ‘at system level’ and had accelerated the development of ‘more productive relationships’ between commissioners and providers.

‘Over the past few months, PCN clinical directors have worked closely with LMCs and CCGs and have provided a unified voice for primary care,’ the BMA said.

The body urged NHS England to issue guidance to all ICSs on ‘the importance of including primary care provider representatives on their decision-making bodies’, to ensure that system transformation and planning are informed by clinical expertise and local knowledge.

NHS England was contacted for comment.