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GPs issue ‘no confidence’ statement as chair jets off to Alaska

GPs from about 30 surgeries have issued a statement of no confidence in senior CCG managers, after expressing anger at the CCG chief clinical officer flying to Alaska and Seattle in a bid to learn about new models of care.

Pulse understands that GPs gave the statement of no confidence in the NHS Vale of York CCG at a meeting of the CCG’s council of representatives last Thursday.

In May last year Pulse reported that Vale of York CCG was among eight CCGs to issue a warning about prescribing budgets, after a ‘£1.4m forecast outturn in prescribing’.

Local GP leaders said they are now taking up the GPs’ concerns with NHS England chiefs.

The CCG was proposing a financial recovery plan when it emerged that its chief clinical officer, Dr Mark Hayes, and Patrick Crowley, chief executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, are visiting the US states of Alaska and Seattle to learn more about alternative models of care.

A member of the council of representatives told Pulse that there was a statement made by the members of the council declaring no confidence in the proposed financial recovery plan or the leadership of the senior management team.

Dr Douglas Moederle-Lumb, chief executive of YOR LMC, which represents the Vale of York GPs, told Pulse he had been notified about the statement, and been asked to raise this with NHS England.

He added: ‘There is clearly discontent… that at a time the CCG cannot meet its statutory commitments the [chief clinical officer] would be considering flying out of the country to Alaska to be looking at healthcare systems out there.’

Dr Moederle-Lumb said that the LMC was ‘concerned our colleagues we represent in the Vale of York have felt it necessary to express their concerns and I have been asked by members of the council of representatives to raise these concerns with the area team’.

One GP, who did not wish to be named, told Pulse that the recovery plan ‘essentially cut everything back to the bone’.

He said: ‘The council reps looked at it and made a statement at the board of no confidence both in their communication and their “ability to cope with the current crisis or the future of care in the York area”.’

The GP added that the acute trust had been overspending, with money taken out of primary care. He added: ‘It is an area where there are very few enhanced services. There is minimal investment in primary care.’

The CCG said it had not formally received any notification of a no-confidence statement.

A CCG spokesperson said: ‘We have not received formal notification of the outcome of the vote of the council of representatives. What is clear, however, is that our CCG, local GPs and other healthcare professionals recognise the significant financial challenges we face and that innovative solutions must be found.

‘That is precisely the reason why we are visiting the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle to explore how care can be provided in different, more cost-effective ways. The visit has been organised in the most cost-effective way possible.’

The CCG confirmed that Dr Hayes was visiting Alaska at part of the trip to the US.