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Three-quarters of first-wave CCGs authorised with conditions

Over three-quarters of the first wave of CCGs have had conditions attached to their authorisation, with one approved even though the organisation could not prove all member practices had signed their constitution.

Of 35 CCGs assessed by the NHS Commissioning Board to commission healthcare services from next April, 26 had conditions placed on them and one CCG requested its authorisation was deferred.

These conditions will have to be resolved by April next year, with some of them relating to their engagement with local GPs.

North and West Reading CCG had 14 conditions placed on them, including one as it could not show that its member practices ‘understand at least at a high level’ the CCGs ‘local plan and priorities’.

East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, had three conditions placed on its authorisation, including that its constitution does not ‘reflect’ accountability between the CCG and member practices, and that the NHS Commissioning Board was not satisfied that both the chief financial officer and chair of the governing body had been ‘secured in line with national role outlines, attributes and competencies.’

North East Lincolnshire CCG was authorised with five conditions, but was allowed through despite confirmation from the NHS Commissioning Board that the new organisation’s constitution has not been signed off by member practices.

A spokeswoman for North East Lincolnshire CCG said: ‘The constitution condition is a simple matter of timing and has now been fulfilled.’

Shropshire CCG has also been authorised even though it has not shown that it has a ‘detailed financial plan that delivers financial balance’.

The NHS Commissioning Board confirmed that the conditions placed on these CCGs that relate to engagement with member practices were ‘low level’, meaning that the board will only give advice or expertise if it is needed, and none of the CCGs are threatened with having functions removed from their responsibility.

Dame Barbara Hakin, the NHS Commissioning Board’s national director of commissioning development told Pulse that it was ‘not a worry’ that so many CCGs had been authorised with conditions. 

‘I expect the vast majority to be resolved at the March review and before April.

‘CCGs are membership organisations…it is important for practices to identify how they want their CCGs to be run and authorised, what I would say is that it is early days,’ she added.