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Commissioning groups concentrating on areas patients ‘don’t give a monkey’s’ about

A leading GP commissioner and member of the NHS Future Forum panel has warned that red tape is threatening to ‘paralyse’ clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Speaking at a Reform conference in London, Dr Niti Pall, chair of Pathfinder Healthcare Developments and a GP in Birmingham said: ‘I’m really fed up at the moment because all of the debates we have been having in our local area is about who is going to which cluster with whom and where the CCG boundary will be.’

‘We are already half way through a contracting round, spending our money, millions of pounds spent and here we are spending our time talking about what shape we are going to be. It really is frustrating and the patients don’t give a monkey’s what size or shape or whatever the cluster and CCG is in.’

Dr Pall, who sits on the NHS Future Forum, which has been asked by the Department off Health to explore ways of making the health bill work better in practice, said she was keen to find ways to reduce the ‘burden of red tape’ on GP commissioners.

She said: ‘What worries me about delivering commissioning that the patient is at the heart of is the layers of bureaucracy that we seem to be putting into the system. So there is now Health Watch and the Health and Wellbeing Boards and the clinical senates and they have a role to play as long as they don’t paralyse us and stop us getting on with the job local people need.’

‘The trouble is that while we wait for all these things to be put in place contracting rounds are going on and the year has gone by and nothing has changed. That has been my experience from fund-holding down to today.’