Excluding the leaders of clinical commissioning groups from major decisions about how the new bodies are set up and run will have ‘terrible consequences’ for patient care, NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon has warned.
In his opening speech to the NHS Alliance annual conference in Manchester, Dr Dixon said he had received 30 emails from concerned CCG leaders in one week.
He told the conference: ‘Each told its own story; stories of commissioning support being imposed, of staff being appointed without consultation and of crucial meetings being arranged with less than twelve hours’ notice,’ he said.
‘[There are] too many stories of CCGs, even those with populations of 150,000-300,000 people, being told that they are too small.’
Pulse reported earlier this week a new poll by the NHS Alliance and the NAPC that found 60% of respondents answered yes to the question ‘Do you feel as if your CCG is being coerced or bullied to alter the way you are setting it up, in ways that conflict with what you feel would benefit your local population?’.
He said: ‘If the system continues to oppress our clinical commissioners, then every clinician, every manager, and every patient will face the most terrible consequences.’
Dr Dixon said he shared GPs’ concerns about competition and privatisation in the NHS.‘But these concerns are poor reasons to turn your back on clinical commissioning,’ he concluded. ‘They are every reason to embrace it. It enables us to make sure that our patients really do come first. Not the ideology of markets, nor of competition nor the private sector.’