CCGs have no right to manage GPs, warns GPC

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have 'no place' in the management of GP practices, but are continuing to impose 'draconian' restrictions on them, the GPC has said.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman: CCGs must not manage GPs
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman: CCGs must not manage GPs

Speaking after a meeting on Thursday, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that many CCGs had ignored warnings from the committee. He said: ‘We clarified our position that CCGs have no place in the management of primary care contractors. There are still CCGs who believe their main job is to manage GPs.’

Dr Buckman said the committee had seen examples of CCGs threatening GPs with the withdrawal of their contract or expulsion if they did not comply with CCG decisions. 

Dr Buckman said CCGs were also forcing GPs to agree to ‘draconian CCG contracts that have nothing to do with the model contract’.

The constitutions are concerning, Dr Buckman said, because they contain clauses which force member GPs to obey all of the groups' commissioning decisions.

The inference of many constitutions is ‘cooperation means you agree with us’, Dr Buckman said.

He said that the issue was not an isolated one and that the GPC had seen ‘plenty of examples’ of CCGs trying to manage GPs.

‘In many cases it’s the medical directors of the CCG, who were or still are medical directors of the PCT, issuing statements – it's very widespread. This isn’t just one person.’

GP revealed last year how CCGs were forcing practices to sign agreements.

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