NHS leaders warn CCGs should not use contracts or threats against GPs

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should not use contracts or threats to ensure practices behave in a way they would like, according to NHS leaders.

David Stout: 'There’s no contractual obligation for any practice to do anything other than be in a CCG.'
David Stout: 'There’s no contractual obligation for any practice to do anything other than be in a CCG.'

Legally, practices only have to be members of a CCG, David Stout, the NHS Confederation’s deputy chief executive, told a Westminster Health Forum event in central London about commissioning on Wednesday.

He said: ‘There’s no contractual obligation for any practice to do anything other than be in a CCG. A contractual relationship, or CCGs attempting to use force with practices to achieve compliance, is going to fail. I don’t think the solution is changing the GP contract to make GPs comply.

‘LMCs represent GPs as providers. Any sensible CCG will have a good relationship with its LMC and there will be strong, effective communication between the two.’

Dr Matthew Davies, GP locality chairman for Nene CCG in Northamptonshire, said: ‘If you have to go through legislation or making GPs do things because they’re in the contract, then I think we can all go home.’


GP magazine is a media partner for Commissioning 2012, an event in London on 27-28 June featuring over 700 GPs and primary care managers. Speakers are expected to include health secretary Andrew Lansley and NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson.

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