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Commissioning groups ignoring BMA election guidance

PCT clusters are engineering the make-up of clinical commissionnig group boards in a spate of undemocratic elections, GP leaders have warned.

The GPC said it had evidence of multiple instances across England where trusts and CCGs had not followed its guidance on how to carry out elections, with some excluding sessional GPs, and others parachuting in those who led practice-based commissioning groups to run new organisations.  

The revelation echoes findings from a Pulse investigation in September, which showed 95% of GPs appointed to CCG boards had not faced a contested election, raising fears of a ‘jobs for the boys’ culture in some areas.

The GPC wrote to the profession last month to express ‘increasing alarm’ at the manner in which some CCGs are being set up. It is now calling for LMCs to come forward and expose undemocratic elections.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘There are too many examples to name. I was expecting to hear one or two examples, but was surprised there were more.

‘Some CCGs appear to be dominated by small numbers of practices who seem to have a lot of control over who gets in and out. There is another group where it looks like PCT clusters are actually engineering who is on CCGs. It may turn out the two groups might be the same – you might find the PBC group is now turning into the CCG.

‘Where there is evidence, it’s important that LMCs stand up and say, ‘this CCG in our area is not democratic’.

‘Most CCGs have followed our general advice on governance and involved all GPs regardless of contractual status. Those that haven’t we need to establish who they are and find out why they have done this.’



RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada will answer your questions live on PulseToday tomorrow. Logon between 2pm and 3pm to quiz Dr Gerada – or click here submit your queries.