MPS finds conflict of interest fears over GPs on CCGs

Almost two-thirds of GPs and practice managers are concerned about conflicts of interest among GPs who sit on CCGs, according to a survey by the Medical Protection Society (MPS).

MPS: 'CCGs must put systems in place to make sure conflicts of interest are dealt with.'
MPS: 'CCGs must put systems in place to make sure conflicts of interest are dealt with.'

The poll, of more than 1,000 GPs and practice managers, found that 59% were concerned about conflicts of interest as CCGs are introduced.

Medico-legal adviser to the MPS, Dr Richard Stacey, said the MPS had always had concerns that the dual role of budget-holder and patient advocate for GPs on CCGs could leave them vulnerable to accusations of conflicting interests.

He said: ‘We have received a number of calls from members expressing these same concerns for the last few months, and this survey not only confirms MPS’s fears, but those of GPs and practice managers as well.’

Dr Stacey said CCGs must put clear systems in place to make sure that real and perceived conflicts of interest are dealt with openly to protect the doctor-patient relationship.

Dr Steve Kell, chairman of Bassetlaw CCG, Nottinghamshire, said: ‘CCGs are membership organisations and as such transparency is very important.

‘If anyone has a concern about a conflict of interest I’d urge them to contact their CCG. Each CCG will have a conflict of interest register and a transparent and robust policy to deal with any conflicts of interest that might arise.’

In the MPS poll, which saw more than 500 GP respondents, just under four fifths (79.7%) said they were concerned about how CCGs would deal with budget constraints, and two-thirds (66.4%) expressed concern about time constraints on CCGs.

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