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Commissioning leaders oppose Labour proposals to make CCGs advisory to local authorities

Commissioning leaders have hit back at Labour proposals to strip GPs of their statutory commissioning role and make CCGs advisory to health and wellbeing boards.

The CCG body, NHS Clinical Commissioners, said Labours proposals risk ‘losing essential clinical leadership’ and undermine Labour’s pledge not to implement another reorganisation of the NHS – which the GPC recently accused Labour of being dishonest about.

This comes after shadow health secretary Andy Burnham announced in July that CCGs would, under Labour, be stripped of responsibilities for commissioning the care of vulnerable patients, such as those with long term conditions or the elderly.

And Labour leader Ed Miliband said, at the start of the year, that all CCG decisions should be put out for public consultation by HWBs.

Dr Amanda Doyle, co-chair of the NHSCCs said: ‘CCGs are currently statutory NHS organisations, led by local clinicians who are part of the fabric of local healthcare and the local community.’

She added: ‘To make CCGs advisory to health and wellbeing boards moves statutory responsibility and gives leadership of NHS commissioning to local councils. This removes the influence of local doctors over how local health services are delivered and is absolutely a reorganisation of the NHS.’

Dr Steve Kell, also co-chair of NHSCC, added ‘These proposals would represent a significant change in both the structure and the funding of the NHS, and we cannot see how they can be implemented without another re-organisation.’