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Just 7% of CCGs recruit consultants to boards

Exclusive: Only 7% of CCGs have appointed a secondary care consultant to their board, amid signs they are struggling to meet the Department of Health's requirement for each board to include a consultant.

The stipulation came after pressure from secondary care to have a greater say in how services are commissioned, with ministers insisting consultants must come from outside CCGs' boundaries to avoid conflicts of interest.

But only 36 out of 100 CCGs have reserved a position for a secondary care doctor – and just seven of these positions have been filled.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC negotiator, said the restriction on local consultants ‘didn't make logical sense': ‘There is little incentive for a consultant to be travelling across the country to provide advice to PCTs, whereas there would be every reason why a local consultant would want to work with local GPs to improve health services. Even PCTs had local consultants on their boards.'

But a DH spokesperson said: ‘The non-GP members of the governing body are there to provide an independent perspective and help ensure good governance. SHA and PCT clusters are supporting CCGs in identifying candidates for these important roles.'