GP leader renews call for CCG control of practice funding

A leading GP is calling for CCGs to take control of GP budgets.

Dr Michael Dixon: CCGs should hold GP funding
Dr Michael Dixon: CCGs should hold GP funding

Chairman of the NHS Alliance and president of NHS Clinical Commissioners, Dr Michael Dixon, will set out his vision for a primary care-led NHS at a Westminster Health Forum event later today.

Dr Dixon will say that the future financial sustainability of the NHS depends on moving away from the current centralised secondary care-led model.

He will highlight the two threats of the ‘uncompetitive payment by results’ funding of secondary care, and the splitting of primary and secondary care budgets between NHS England and CCGs.

Dr Dixon has previously argued that CCGs, not NHS England's area teams, should manage GP contracts.

Speaking today he will say: ‘It is lunacy expecting CCGs to redesign care and extend the ability of community services and general practice to look after patients closer to home, while separating the budget for primary care – which goes to NHS England – from that for commissioning community and hospital services – which goes to CCGs.’

Both DH and NHS England have signalled recently that CCGs should play a greater role in general practice.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt last month signalled a shift towards handing CCGs greater control of primary care commissioning, working ‘hand-in-glove’ with NHS England area teams so primary care is commissioned ‘in exactly the way CCGs want in their area’.

NHS England’s deputy medical director, GP Dr Mike Bewick, who leads the national 'call to action' programme on the future of primary care, has said CCGs should play a greater role in developing general practice.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told Labour’s party conference in September that GP-led commissioning was not in the public interest, and that he would hand all health and social care commissioning over to local authority-controlled health and wellbeing boards.

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