CCGs warned over pressuring GPs to sign constitutions

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that have pressured unwilling GPs to sign constitutions will be reported to the NHS Commissioning Board, the GPC has warned.

CCG constitutions: GPs under pressure to sign
CCG constitutions: GPs under pressure to sign

The GPC has said that it has informed the government that a ‘small number’ of CCGs are forcing GPs to sign CCG constitutions.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘It is clear that some CCGs have pressurised GPs to sign up to a CCG constitution where they don’t agree with their contents.

He added: 'There is no pressure to sign. If they don’t agree, they should stay away from it. Signing something you don’t agree with seems a particularly strange thing to so when it appears to have some legal status and I think we need to bear that in mind.

Dr Buckman said that GPs who believed they have been pressured to sign a constitution they are not happy with should contact their LMC or the GPC and that details would then be passed to the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB).

‘We have raised these issues with ministers and with the government who have acknowledged that this is not the way they wish to see things go and we have emphasised that the number of CCGs behaving like this is small but that it is happening,' he said.

Dr Buckman: What GPs should do if they have signed a CCG constitution they are not happy with


The GPC says CCG constitutions should include a commitment for the CCG to engage with the LMC as the local statutory representative of the profession and clearly outline the dispute process by which practices can raise grievances with their CCG.

In its guidance on CCG constitutions, published in May this year, the GPC warned: ‘A practice should not sign up to their CCG constitution or inter-practice agreement unless they are content with all aspects within either document. If you have concerns, you should immediately seek advice from the LMC or the BMA.’

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