CCGs mindset about locum and salaried GPs must change, warns RCGP

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will not succeed unless they change their mindset and involve locum and salaried GPs more, the RCGP has warned.

Professor Howe: salaried and locum GPs must be involved in CCGs (photo: Pete Hill)

GP reported top line findings from the RCGP Sessional GPs in Commissioning Report earlier this year, which surveyed 628 sessional GPs and 140 CCGs.

It found that although 44% of sessional GPs wanted to get more involved in commissioning, just 11% felt that their CCG kept partners and sessionals equally informed. The report also found that just 9% of sessional GPs currently had a role in a CCG.

RCGP honorary secretary and co-author of the report Professor Amanda Howe said the college was concerned by the reports’ findings.

For commissioning to succeed, the report said general practice needed a ‘mindset change’, because just 7% of sessional respondents felt they were held in the same regard as GP partners.

Professor Howe said it was possible that the lack of sessional GP involvement in commissioning was linked to the fact that the majority of sessional GPs were women. ‘Many younger doctors are female and not partners but the age factor means that their track record of involvement in leadership roles is less.

‘In other settings women are less likely to get into leadership roles so the gender factor may be an influence too,’ she said.

The report suggested that CCGs could write clauses into their constitutions specifying that they must involve sessional GPs.

‘As the final CCG configuration will not be finalised until after authorisation, there is still time to ensure these good practice examples are written into the vision and constitution of the CCGs and become adopted more widely,’ the report said.

Interim chairman of NHS Clinical Commissioners Dr Charles Alessi said it was extremely important for CCGs to include sessional GPs: ‘I think there needs to be a change. People need to understand this is very different from the system of the past - everybody has a part to play.’

‘If you start with a population of people who are excluded its going to be difficult to ask them for help.’

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