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Let CCGs change PCT cluster now, says NAPC chair

CCGs should be allowed to switch to another PCT cluster to provide their current commissioning support, according to NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall.

In his keynote address at today’s NAPC annual conference, he said: ‘CCGs will require excellent commissioning support. And while there are many good people working in PCTs with the skills and knowledge we can ill afford to lose, the NHS needs to actively consider taking partnership working between PCT clusters, other public sector bodies, the voluntary sector and the commercial sector and putting in place the highest level possible of commissioning support for CCGs.’

He added: ‘A critical success factor is the choice of commissioning support for emerging CCGs now. Choice of commissioning support can be created from PCT clusters now. This would allow the very best support of PCT clusters now available to be made more available, creating real competition between clusters and should act as a driver toward greater partnership working between PCTs as we strive to deliver added value into the NHS now – why wait?’

The emerging picture of support CCGs are receiving from PCTs is reported to be varied, ranging from good to obstructive.

Speaking at the same event in Birmingham, NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, said: ‘I think the idea of CCGs being able to make choices between clusters is a really good one.’

He added: ‘Over the next 12 months we need to embed that idea of customer focus of existing cluster workers, the people currently working in clinical support to enable that so that by 2013, when you make your choice you have the opportunity to look at an NHS, organised, customer focused system which can fulfil your needs.’