GP commissioners must not be gagged, warns GPC

GPs must not be prevented from speaking out on their patients' behalf by gagging clauses imposed by CCGs, the GPC has warned.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: transparency and openness vital

GPC leaders warned that some CCGs still have gagging clauses in place for their board members, banning GP commissioners from voicing concerns.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that such clauses risk putting ‘organisation interest above patient interest’.

He said: ‘They are holding positions of leadership and GPs who hold these positions should be able to express their concerns and not feel in any way constrained from doing so.

‘We are concerned about some CCG constitutions that are asking GPs on governing boards to sign codes of conduct that they feel will hinder their ability to speak out with regard to concerns.’

Dr Nagpaul said that the GPC has heard of several cases where CCG board members are gagged by a clause in their code of conduct.

He said: ‘Some CCGs restrict the GP from speaking out directly without having discussed it with others to seek approval. As a result we believe that such clauses will impair and constrain the ability of GP board members to express their concerns openly.

'We should be in a culture of openness and transparency and in fact being open and transparent is in the public interest. It should not be that GP board members should put organisational interest above patient interest and that is our concern.’

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