Leading GP warns CCGs need freedom to innovate

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) may be too controlled by the NHS Commissioning Board to innovate effectively, a leading GP has warned.

Dr Jenner: ‘The danger is we engage the GPs in the bureaucracy rather than the action of designing clinical pathways.'
Dr Jenner: ‘The danger is we engage the GPs in the bureaucracy rather than the action of designing clinical pathways.'

Speaking at the NHS Alliance annual conference in Manchester on Wednesday, NHS Alliance GMS/PMS lead and Mid Devon PBC Consortium chairman Dr David Jenner warned that CCGs would be governed by the same ‘golden rules’ that had always controlled the NHS.

GPs will be forced to ‘balance the books, avoid any noise and deliver outcomes and targets,’ he said.

Dr Jenner reminded the conference that despite an encouraging presentation from NHS Future Forum chairman Professor Steve Field encouraging CCGs to innovate as much as possible, balancing the books would still be as important as ever for the NHS.

‘Let's remember that the NHS Commissioning Board has complete power to take over our CCGs and give us a mandate,’ Dr Jenner said.

Dr Jenner said he thought that smaller CCGs would be vulnerable to collapse as they would place GPs too close to the bureaucracy of running a statutory body.

‘The danger is we engage the GPs in the bureaucracy rather than the action of designing clinical pathways,’ he said.

Despite Dr Jenner's warning, he was keen to encourage CCGs to innovate as much as possible.

‘Innovate where you can, but beware of the bear traps,’ he said.

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