Clinical commissioning groups will able to spend more than the £25 per head set by the Government for running costs without fear of censure, a leading commissioning expert has predicted.
CCGs received confirmation of the £25 per head figure in November's NHS Operating Framework, prompting widespread concern that they will be left with too little money to cover their management functions.
But Dr Johnny Marshall, former chair of the National Association of Primary Care and a GP in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, said he had been led to understand CCGs would be given leeway in his discussions with the Department of Health.
He told a roundtable run by the NAPC and covered in next week's issue of Pulse's sister title Practical Commissioning: ‘I suspect the first CCG that delivers on all of its health outcomes and public engagement and comes under budget, but has spent more than £25 on management, might not get quite such a hard ride as we might imagine.'
Dr Joanne Medhurst, a GP in Sidcup, south-east London, said a rigid £25 maximum would damage CCGs' hopes of delivering change: ‘Living within £25 you're going to have very little ambition, very little scope for change. It'll be very good at keeping the status quo, but we've got £20bn to save in the NHS.'