Core GMS work 'should be defined by CCGs', says NHS official

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should play a role in defining core services paid for under the GMS contract, a senior NHS official has said.

Dame Barbara Hakin: inspired by CCGs defining core GMS work
Dame Barbara Hakin: inspired by CCGs defining core GMS work

NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) commissioning lead Dame Barbara Hakin told the NHS Alliance conference today that some CCGs were already drawing up lists of core work.

Her comments came in response to a question from Gloucester CCG clinical chairwoman Dr Helen Miller on how commissioners could decide what they should pay for as enhanced services.

Although CCGs will not hold GP contracts, they will commission enhanced services.

Dame Barbara said the NHSCB would look at defining core services as part of its overall primary care strategy.

But she said: ‘What I have been inspired by recently is CCGs taking this on. They actually say: "We have to be able to put ourselves in a position where we can stand up and be counted and identify which things we are going to do and which are additional because we want to use the money on those additional services. Therefore we are going to, between us, define what is a reasonable set of things we should do",’ she said.

Some GPs have long argued for the DH to set out a clear definition of core work paid for by the GMS contract.

A motion put forward by Northumberland LMC at the 2012 LMCs conference said ‘the time has now come to define core general practice services’, warning that ‘without this there will be no basis to resist constant unresourced shift of work into primary care’. The motion was rejected.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GP: ‘CCGs should not be getting into what is in the contract and micromanaging what is in GMS and PMS.’

He added that defining core work could open a ‘Pandora’s box’ and should not be looked at until redistribution of GP funding planned over the next seven years was complete.

‘Over the medium to long term the NHSCB will want to look at different patterns of care across the country and move to greater standardisation. In the short term, there are other things to do.’

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