Councils should not take over CCGs' commissioning role, say health leaders

CCGs could be more challenging to secondary care than PCTs and their budgets should not be transferred to local government, according to one of the most senior hospital managers in the NHS.

Mr Dorrell: 'Stronger links with health and wellbeing boards needed.'
Mr Dorrell: 'Stronger links with health and wellbeing boards needed.'

Speaking during a panel debate headlined: What do CCGs need to do to avoid major re-organisation in three years time? at the Commissioning Show in east London on Thursday, Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of University College London NHS, dismissed Labour policy of transferring CCG budgets to local government control.

Sir Robert said: 'We need to keep the 'N' in the NHS. I think we need to be very careful about what we do about the money.' Asked whether he thought CCGs could be more challenging to secondary care than PCTs, he said: 'I think they could well be.'

Last year Sir Robert warned CCGs were unlikely to last longer than the GP fundholding scheme of the 1990s.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham explained his plan for CCGs to surrender budgets to health and wellbeing boards led by local government on Wednesday.

Health select committee chairman Stephen Dorrell (Con; Charnwood, Leicestershire) agreed with Sir Robert that local government should not control CCG budgets. 'But I do think there needs to be stronger links with health and wellbeing boards, with local democratic electorates and this is an important opportunity for change.'

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MRI, said CCGs' best chance of avoiding major re-organisation was if the current government was re-elected in 2015.

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