GPs not consulted on Manchester health and social care deal, says LMC

GP leaders in Manchester have slammed the lack of involvement of general practice in plans to hand £6bn NHS funding to a new devolved local authority body.

Dr Tracey Vell: consult GPs (Photo: JH Lancy)
Dr Tracey Vell: consult GPs (Photo: JH Lancy)

Ministers, council bosses and NHS leaders signed a deal on Friday that will see the full integration of health and social care.

The plans are backed by 12 CCGs, 10 local councils, NHS England and other NHS bodies.

But chairwoman of greater Manchester LMCs Dr Tracey Vell said she was ‘disappointed’ the agreement had been signed.

No GP involvement

‘The objectives involve general practice but general practice as a provider has not been given a stake so far in the process,' she said.

CCGs, she added, cannot represent GPs as providers.

‘I am disappointed that the Greater Manchester LMC, which has a statutory function of supporting all general practices, has not been part of the process so far.’

The first details of the plans emerged in the memorandum of understanding published on Friday.

The plan will create a new Greater Manchester Strategic Health and Social Care Partnership Board (GMSHSPB) from 2015/16, bringing together all the bodies involved to oversee strategic development of the health and care economy.

Joint commissioning board

A joint commissioning board will bring CCGs, local authorities and NHS England.

LMCs will be represented on a provider forum to ‘support the proposals to include in the Greater Manchester devolution arrangements a clear principle of co-design and act accordingly’.

Integration arrangements will also take place at locality level.

The arrangement will be in shadow form in 2015/16. From April 2016 the aim is for full devolution of budgets and commissioning responsibilities.

NHS England has agreed to work towards local bodies taking responsibility for ‘designing and creating the provider structure and form to support its commissioning intentions’ and play a ‘leadership role in the oversight of its provider community’ in partnership with Monitor, TDA and CQC.

LMC demands role

Dr Vell said the LMCs should be involved in the process which could hand management of GP contracts over to the new partnership bodies. 

She added: ‘We also have to fully understand what "governance of NHS services remaining as part of the NHS and is still subject to its constitution and mandate" really means.'

Dr Vell said it remained to be seen whether pooling funding would improve how it was used to meet demand, or 'cause further constraints'.

‘We will only know when we see the details. But what we do know is general practice is a huge provider of healthcare and a major advocate for patients and they have not been consulted so far.’

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