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Single commissioning body announced to include NHS Alliance, NAPC and NHS Confederation

The NHS Alliance and NAPC have announced a single ‘one-membership' clinical commissioning body that will work in partnership with the NHS Confederation.

The organisation to be called ‘NHS Clinical Commissioners' was announced yesterday at a meeting of CCG leaders in London.

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, said: ‘We are now creating a one-membership body which will be NHS Clinical Commissioners.

‘The reason we're doing this is that over 80 per cent of you said (at a joint NAPC/NHS Alliance event) in September that 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.'

He added: ‘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, acknowledged there had been great differences of outlook in the past between the NHS Alliance and NAPC but that the new organisation would be a ‘broad church'.  ‘We (the NHS Alliance and NAPC) weren't the best of friends for many, many years and now the relationship is quite cordial. I don't think you need me to say that – not only do we share a platform but there's absolutely no concern in terms of who is top dog. None of us are top dog – we are all top dog. 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.'

More detail on how the organisations will work together and how the move will sit with their respective memberships will be discussed in a series of meetings over the coming weeks.

David Stout, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation said they were in ‘positive discussions' about how best to work with the NHS Alliance and NAPC.

‘We want to ensure CCGs can connect with a wider NHS as they take on their commissioning functions' he said.

During a feedback session at the end of yesterday's conference, CCGs highlighted key issues they wanted the new organisation to tackle.

These included:

  • action to overcome inadequate letters from outpatient appointments
  • appropriate fair funding allocations
  • engaging grassroot general practice with the reforms
  • dealing with recalcitrant practices.

The NHS Alliance and NAPC have published a mandate for the new organisation.

This includes ‘four pillars' – public health, avoiding over-centralism, integrating care and local flexibility.