Concerns have been raised that CCGs are failing to engage with sessional doctors after a survey found less than a quarter of salaried GPs are getting involved in commissioning.
A report based on a survey by Leeds LMC revealed only 18% of salaried GPs have been invited to contribute to their local CCG.
The survey also found that one of out of the seven GPs involved in a CCG was involved ‘against her wishes’ while another was expected to contribute in his own time, according to the survey of 40 doctors.
But concerns have been raised that the exclusion of salaried GPs and locums is spreading well beyond Leeds, with chief executive of the National Association of Sessional GPs Dr Richard Fieldhouse insisting the feeling of disengagement is a ‘big concern’ across the rest of the country.
He said: ‘There are some practices who think that if they are going to have GPs involved with CCGs, it should be practice partners rather than salaried GPs. But there are a lot of good reasons why it is a fantastic opportunity for salaried GPs, particularly as they don’t have any conflicts of interest and could make it their priority.
‘But it is ignorance from both parties – from CCGs who don’t think about it and from those salaried GPs who are not identifying themselves as they think: “What is the point?”‘
Dr Vicky Weeks, chair of the GPC’s sessional GPs subcommittee, said the problem stemmed from sessional GPs missing out on information cascades from PCTs, which she feared would continue with the introduction of CCGs.
She added: ‘It is a problem of culture where some of the CCGs have a lack of understanding about the shape of the GP workforce.’
Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair and assistant medical secretary of Leeds LMC, said that although not all GPs could be expected to be ‘actively involved’ with CCGs, it was important they had the opportunity for ‘their voices to be heard’.
He said: ‘It is important that CCGs take the issue of information sharing very seriously, as they will only be successful if they can communicate to all GPs in their areas.’
The LMC survey also found 88% of male respondents worked under the BMA model contract, compared with just 39% of female respondents.
Nearly half of respondents (43%) said they were experiencing problems with progressing in their careers.