DoH clinical commissioning network lead Dr James Kingsland has been visiting CCGs across England to assess barriers to progress and find out what is working well.
He said that in areas where there is great enthusiasm, the focus has been on the function of CCGs, not their form.
‘Where there is concern, only the form of the organisation is being discussed, and the process is being led by the system in a top-down way,’ Dr Kingsland said.
‘In those areas, work on the structures and the geographic modelling of CCGs is consuming all the energy. But in areas where they are focusing on issues they really need to improve in the local area, like mental health services, that is where there is enthusiasm.’
Dr Kingsland said that clinicians were enthused by redesigning services, not by structural changes.
‘Some areas have lost the focus that this is about reforming care, not restructuring the NHS.’
He said some areas seemed to have made managing the health service more complex than delivering care, ‘which seems a big malfunction in how the NHS works’.
DoH director of commissioning development Dame Barbara Hakin made similar comments in a DoH web chat last week.