Clinical commissioning groups will have to involve the public on any changes that affect patient services – not just those with a ‘significant’ impact as stated in the original bill.
The revised changes to the health bill announced by the Government has omitted the word ‘significant’.
Oliver Pritchard a partner of Browne Jaconson solicitors told a recent conference: ‘There’s a subtle change in the duty of consortia. In the first bill there was a obligation to consult on ‘significant’ changes to services. That word’s now been dropped so it’s now all changes which affect services.’
Mr Pritchard also warned GP commissioners would have to be much more proactive in managing the risk of incidents occurring among their providers in the area of safeguarding.
‘GPs are aware of duties if patient presents to them – there is a duty to involve children’s services and work with multidisciplinary services to stop that abuse occurring. By commissioning services you take on the responsibility for making sure that the providers you are commissioning have appropriate safeguards and procedures in place to mitigate risk.’