CCG relationships with practices key to commissioning success

The relationships clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) form with their constituent practices will be a key driver of the success of commissioning, the chairman of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) has said.

Dr Marshall: 'If CCGs are going to have a choice of commissioning support by 2013 this cannot be left under developed until 2013. It is a critical success factor.'

Opening the NAPC’s annual conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, Dr Johnny Marshall said practices must be the ‘building blocks upon which CCGs are created’.

He said CCGs must be formed by a partnership between practices to form a CCG, rather than a CCG board seeking to engage practices.

He said: ‘Practices are the CCG and the CCG are the practices. Anything less risks recreating PCTs and I fear little will change.’

Dr Marshall also said for CCGs to genuinely transform health services and ‘not merely shuffle the deckchairs on the commissioning Titanic’ they must build strong relationships with other CCGs, local authorities and providers.

He also urged the NHS to facilitate partnership working between PCT clusters, the public sector and commercial organisations to ensure high quality commissioning support is available to CCGs.

He said: ‘If CCGs are going to have a choice of commissioning support by 2013 this cannot be left under developed until 2013. It is a critical success factor.

‘Why could we not at least create a choice of commissioning support from existing clusters, then? The act of creating a little competition between clusters should act as a driver towards greater partnership working between PCT clusters as they strive to provide added value to clinical commissioning. Why wait?’

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