GPs on clinical commissioning groups realise co-operation with managers is key

Large numbers of PCT managers are working with emerging clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as GPs begin to realise that working with 'managers' is the 'way forward', GPs have said.

At the NHS Confederation Conference in Manchester on Thursday, Dr Steve Kell, executive chairman of Bassetlaw Commissioning organisation, said involving managers will ensure CCGs move from the planning stages to ‘actual delivery’.

He said: ‘In the days of practice-based commissioning it was a little bit of 'get on and do that as clinicians and tell us how you have done'. It was very difficult to get a business plan sorted. But there is a realisation amongst clinicians that working with managers is the way forward.’

It comes as Dr Stephen Shortt, chairman of Principia commissioning group, said around 150 PCT staff will be divided between five CCGs in Nottinghamshire. He said their functions centre around finance, performance and governance.

He said: ‘The approach to reconfiguring the PCT was very much a combined approach between the clinical leads of commissioning consortia and PCT.

‘It started by describing what the consortia wanted to do locally. What managerial resources of what type and level did they want in their building and when?’

Dr Shortt added that the governance arrangements for the consortia, which have been in place since 2006, are dominated by lay members. He said there are no plans to change this structure as the CCG takes on full responsibility in 2013.

He said the CCG board has a lay chair, and the board is made up of a further six lay members, six GPs and three community staff.

He said: ‘We have done that from the very start because we wanted to demonstrate a more than tokenistic approach… and demonstrate our commitment to accountability and to improving the quality of services available to our local residents. Frankly, it has served us phenomenally well.

‘If you can align the professional and lay perspective around a common purpose it is an irresistible force.’

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