Five CCGs defer authorisation applications

Five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have deferred their authorisation applications as they were not ready in time for what the GPC has called an 'unrealistic political deadline'.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: authorisation targets unrealistic for some CCGs
Dr Chaand Nagpaul: authorisation targets unrealistic for some CCGs

The GPC has backed the decision of five CCGs across England to ask the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) to defer their authorisation applications.

Three CCGs – Bolton, Hillingdon and Stafford and Surrounds – could not meet the 3 September deadline for the second wave of authorisations. The NCB has allowed them to move to the third and fourth waves. Two CCGs from the third wave – Mid Essex and West Norfolk – have moved to the fourth wave (see table below for details).

CCGs switching to later authorisation wave
NHS Bolton CCG W2 W4 N
NHS Hillingdon CCG W2 W4 L
NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG W2 W3 M&E
NHS Mid Essex CCG W3 W4 M&E
NHS West Norfolk CCG W3 W4 M&E

The remaining 67 CCGs in the second wave are due to have their applications decided on in December after they made this month’s deadline.

This comes after all 35 CCGs in the first wave successfully submitted their applications in time for the July deadline and are due to be decided on next month.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said there is massive variation in how England's 212 CCGs are engaging with their member practices in a bid to make the ‘tight authorisation deadlines’ before they take over from England's 152 PCTs next April.

Change in CCG numbers per wave


Wave one 35 35 0
Wave two 70 67 -3
Wave three 66 65 -1
Wave four 41 45 +4

He said: ‘We don’t have any clarity on how the NCB will decide if a CCG’s constitution has the support of member practices. There are some CCGs that don’t require the signatures of their member practices for their constitutions and there is one CCG which I believe has submitted its constitution to the NCB without any signatures of its member practices.

‘The political timetable was unrealistic for many CCGs. It’s eminently sensible that CCGs should not rush to be authorised within a timescale quicker than their own choosing.’

An NCB spokeswoman said: ‘A small number of proposed CCGs requested a change to a different authorisation wave, in line with their own operational plans. Changes like these were expected and the NCB was pleased to support them, as the separation of CCGs into waves is simply to help the NCB break down the large administrative task of fully assessing and supporting 212 proposed CCGs through the authorisation process before April 2013.

‘We are working closely with all CCGs to guide and support their establishment: CCGs and the NCB share a common goal of creating a patient-focused, clinically-led and sustainable commissioning system, with flexibility to respond to local needs.’

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