GP engagement should be key to CCG authorisation

The GPC has called for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to be authorised only if they can prove the engagement of all member practices, after 35 groups applied for approval in the first wave of authorisation.

Dr Nagpaul: 'The board should ensure that it has the full engagement of practices which is more important than meeting a deadline.’
Dr Nagpaul: 'The board should ensure that it has the full engagement of practices which is more important than meeting a deadline.’

The NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) has confirmed that all 35 CCGs in the first of the four waves of authorisation met the 1 July deadline to submit their applications. A decision on these is due to be made by the NCB in October.

But GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the ‘rush to meet a political deadline’ has left worries about whether constituent practices are sufficiently engaged in their CCG.

He said: ‘The last thing we want is CCGs getting authorised without the support of member practices. CCGs wouldn’t be able to be effective without the engagement of practices. The board should ensure that it has the full engagement of practices which is more important than meeting a deadline.’

Applicants for authorisation must complete a form on which the CCG self-certifies its compliance in 118 areas and supply up to 19 'core evidence' documents.

The board’s national director for commissioning development Dame Barbara Hakin said: ‘I am delighted that the CCG authorisation process is beginning on schedule and that we have received all 35 applications in full from the CCGs in wave one. I wish to thank CCGs for their energy and commitment. All CCGs are working incredibly hard to set themselves up as effective and safe health commissioning organisations by April 2013 and it is inspiring to see the process get off to a good start.

‘I want to emphasise strongly that all the authorisation waves are equal and there is no difference between a CCG in wave one or wave four in terms of competence. Proposed CCGs in each wave will continue to develop throughout the year as they take on increasing responsibilities, and could have conditions set irrespective of the wave in which they are placed.’

As revealed in May, the 212 CCGs across England are due to be authorised by the board in four waves: 35 in wave 1, 70 in wave 2, 67 in wave 3 and the final 40 in wave 4.

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