CCGs 'face unfair pressure from PCT clusters'

PCT clusters are attempting to force clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) into decisions about when they become authorised and who they work with, the GPC has warned.

Dr David Wrigley: CCGs had their any qualified provider (AQP) process ‘pushed down from on high'
Dr David Wrigley: CCGs had their any qualified provider (AQP) process ‘pushed down from on high'

Speaking after the monthly GPC meeting in London on Thursday, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘The GPC has serious concerns about the way commissioning is being implemented. CCGs are being developed in ways that GPs are unhappy with.’

Dr Buckman said that PCT clusters were issuing instructions to CCGs on issues such as the date of their authorisation, who they commission from and who they seek commissioning support from. He said PCT clusters had no right to instruct CCGs on these issues.

‘CCGs can do whatever they like to a timescale of their choosing,’ he said.

The GPC is also concerned that some CCGs gave been ‘invited to seminars funded by PCT clusters or former SHAs that are run by the private sector’, Dr Buckman said.

GPC member and Lancashire GP Dr David Wrigley said that CCGs in his local area had had their any qualified provider (AQP) process ‘pushed down from on high’.

Dr Wrigley said that the PCT cluster had issued CCGs with a list of three services they would be required to put out to tender under the any AQP process.

‘As a CCG we said we didn’t identify them as areas that needed to go out for tender. They were forced on us,’ Dr Wrigley said.

GPC member and Manchester GP Dr John Hughes complained of similar problems in his area.

He said that not only had the PCT cluster issued CCGs with a list of services to put out to tender, CCGs were being pressurised to ‘go for authorisation earlier than 2013 and have the preparation done in the next month or two’.

Dr Wrigley said the cluster was also trying to control the election of lay members to CCG boards.

He said the PCT clusters wanted to have their chairman on the appointments panel.

Dr Wrigley said that as time went on it appeared that CCGs had less and less control over the health service.

‘You get a short honeymoon period and then the clamps go down again,’ he said.

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