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Commissioning groups ‘bullied’ to alter their structure

Many clinical commissioning groups are being ‘coerced or bullied’ by NHS managers into structures that conflict with what is best for their local populations, finds a new survey.

The survey of 257 ‘pathfinder’ CCGs revealed that 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?’.

The Clinical Commissioning Coalition – formed by the NHS Alliance and the NAPC – conducted the survey and says the bullying appears to be coming from the existing NHS management infrastructure of PCTs and SHAs.

The results of the survey, which received 67 respondents, come in light of a Pulse report on the NHS Midlands and East SHA shutting down a single-practice CCG despite its ‘excellent work’ because it was ‘not permitted’ under the health bill.

Dr Michael Dixon, a GP in Devon and a leader of the Clinical Commissioning Coalition, said: ‘We’ve heard too many reports that CCGs are being told by the current system managers that they must be created in specific ways.’

He added: ‘In a significant number of cases, this seems to cross the line into unacceptable pressure in the form of bullying or coercion’.

CCG mergers are likely to have to merge after the Government’s 2012/13 NHS Operating Framework, published last week, determined that CCG management allowances would be set at £25 per head.