The NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care have formed a single membership organisation for CCGs in conjunction with the NHS Confederation that will represent GP commissioners' interests in the revamped NHS.
The formation of the new organisation, known as NHS Clinical Commissioners, was announced on Tuesday at the Alliance and NAPC's joint conference for CCG leaders.
The leaders of the respective organisations said the move would ensure that CCGs had the ‘firepower' to succeed in the new world. It comes after Pulse reported last October that both organisations were looking at the possibility of a full merger by 2013.
Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, told GPs at this week's conference: ‘The reason we're doing this is that over 80% of you said at a previous NAPC-NHS Alliance event you wanted a strong representative organisation that can make sure you're properly championed and that you're at the high table. And that's really where we need to get to – right up there.'
‘In order to do that the two organisations are also partnering with the NHS Confederation who will be bringing the support, some of the firepower that you will need in the new world to ensure you get all you require to get things moving.'
NAPC chair Dr Charles Alessi said the two organisations had put aside past differences in order to offer commissioners a strong voice.
Dr Alessi said: ‘We weren't the best of friends for many, many years and now the relationship is quite cordial. We're forming an institution and organisation which will represent everybody, really a broad church because we need a voice for clinical commissioning especially during this messy transition.'
The two organisations said they would release more detail in the coming weeks on how the move would work in practice for their respective memberships.