CCGs need to ‘grab the power’ and recognise local authorities as their closest ally against the NHSCB, according to former DH adviser Professor Paul Corrigan.
Speaking at today’s NAPC conference he said the NHS reforms would result in both a ‘stronger centre and stronger localities’.
‘How you play your role in that within your localities isn’t going to be something that’s given to you, it’s something you’re going to have to work out how to do.’
He said the NHSCB would be ‘much stronger’ than the NHS management board is today.
‘Where do you look for someone to stand up with you? It seems to me the answer to that is local government. It’s not important to just have good relations because of the good work that needs to be done for patients, but the good work that needs to be done in strengthening the locality focus of the CCG, if I put this way, against the NHSCB.
‘Local government’s really good at this.
‘Birmingham Council has to stand up publically against central government every day for 130 years and it knows how to do it. If you form an alliance with them (local authorities) then you’re in a very good position with the NHSCB which hasn’t got the faintest idea what local government is.
‘There is virtually no-one in the DH who understands what local government is.
‘Therefore the sort of things that I’m going to do with CCGs is to get them to go and talk to their local authority and go to the local organisation cluster/NHSCB and say “my local authority wouldn’t like that”. Now that’s not saying “I” wouldn’t like it but “we” wouldn’t like it, “as a locality we wouldn’t like it”.
Dr Derek Hopper, NAPC secretary and a GP in north east Lincs, said: ‘We’re a care trust with co-terminosity. We have used the local authority to resist change. They tried to merge us with another PCT we resisted that, they tried to change our ambulance provider and we said we didn’t want that. If it wasn’t for the local authority it wouldn’t have worked.’