Under the review of public administration in the country, all four existing health and social services boards are being scrapped from 1 April 2008, and seven local commissioning groups (LCGs) have been established in shadow form from 1 April 2007.
Four of these are chaired by GPs, and each group will have a number of sub-committees, called community commissioning associations (CCAs), which are built around groups of GP practices. Every GP practice will be represented on a CCA.
Dr George O’Neill, a member of Eastern LMC and the chairman of Belfast LCG, said: ‘This is locality commissioning, not practice-based commissioning.’
Groups should be allowed to direct commissioning on a wide scale. Other parts of the UK were not as comprehensive, he said.
GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn urged GPs to get involved.