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CCGs must ‘answer GP fears’ over NHS reforms



CCG leaders must answer GP’s fears that they will be blamed for cuts and privatisation of NHS services, NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon has said.

In his keynote speech to open the annual NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth today, he said that some health professionals have ‘legitimate concerns’ over the new system but that it is up to commissioning leaders to ensure that the frontline is motivated to realise the potential of clinical commissioning, which NHS Alliance has fought to bring for over a decade.

He said: ‘Clinical commissioners must now work as hard as possible to ensure their frontline clinicians are motivated, effective and, dare I say it, happy in their new commissioning role.’

‘Those GPs, nurses and other clinicians have legitimate concerns.  Some feel that they have got too much on their hands already.  Some think they will be blamed if resources and services are less than expected.  Some fear that their relationship with patients will be compromised.  Others suspect this is the beginning of widespread NHS privatisation. 

‘We must answer these fears.  Explain and show how every clinician now has a real chance to make a real difference for every patient.’

He also urged the DH and the National Commissioning Board to allow CCGs to retain their freedom, warning against becoming a ‘grand inquisitor’ as opposed to a ‘grand protector’.

Dr Dixon unveiled plans for the NHS Alliance to work together with the Nuffield Trust and the King’s Fund to put together a ‘manifesto for the future’ for the NHS that will be published in March 2013.

He said: ‘What will primary care and the future NHS look like? Next March, we will gather together all the words and aspirations of this conference and the conversations that follow from it to produce a piece of work, in partnership with the Nuffield Trust and King’s Fund, that will lead the future.  A manifesto for that future.’