GPs must speak out about poor commissioning plans, LMC warns

GPs have a duty to speak out against commissioning decisions and DH policies that could adversely affect patients, the chief executive of Londonwide LMCs has warned.

Dr Michelle Drage: speak out about poor commissioning decisions
Dr Michelle Drage: speak out about poor commissioning decisions

Speaking at a Londonwide LMCs conference on Thursday, Dr Michelle Drage said it was important for commissioning decisions to focus on the patients in GP consulting rooms.

Dr Drage said this was particularly important in light of the Francis report into failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

‘I’ll reference Francis. It’s no longer going to be acceptable to ignore or turn a blind eye to decisions that affect the care and caring of our patients, so everyone is in this together,' she said.

Dr Drage said CCGs, LMCs, and LETBs needed to build strong relationships to allow practices to treat patients ‘at their clinical best’ and not be subjected to DH-imposed ‘box ticking' targets.

‘That may mean challenging some of the decisions, some of the judgments. That may mean as a CCG challenging the policy that is being passed on to you from the centre. That may mean challenging as GPs the implementation of those policies.’

She added: ‘What we need to keep our eyes very much focused on is the impact of every decision on the patient in the consulting room in general practice and if we commission bearing that in mind then I think we will get this right.’

Dr Drage also warned practices in London that they would be assessed on England-wide performance measures set by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB).

‘The NHSCB is a national organisation. It will compare our performance in London with the performance in the rest of the country, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to our demography and our infrastructure and our challenges.

‘London actually is almost a different country,’ she added.

Dr Drage said to deliver ‘good quality provision’ practices needed to work together and collaborate.

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