PCTs refuse to hand delegated budgets to smaller CCGs

PCTs are refusing to hand clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) delegated budgets unless they merge with neighbouring groups, lawyers have warned.

Dr Dixon: ‘It is absolutely fundamental that CCGs are free to make their own decisions.'

Talking to GP, Ross Clark, a partner at legal firm Hempsons, said he was aware of several cases where PCTs were dictating the population sizes CCGs should cover.

He said in some cases PCTs threatened to withhold delegated budgets unless the CCG changed its configuration or size.

He said: ‘PCTs are carrying on in the old style NHS way where they tell GPs what to do. The PCTs can’t get out of that mindset and are not thinking as the Health Bill says they must.

'By dictating the size CCGs should be, protects PCT jobs. If CCGs come together on a footprint broadly the same as the PCT most staff in the PCT will have a job in the transition process.’

It comes as the National Association of Primary Care and NHS Alliance’s commissioning coalition said CCGs must have the independence to make their own decisions in terms of the populations they cover.

The coalition said CCG configuration will depend on a range of local factors and that there is not an ideal size that would suit all CCGs across the country.

NHS Alliance chief executive Dr Michael Dixon said: ‘It is absolutely fundamental that CCGs are free to make their own decisions.

‘It is not up to any particular organisation to dictate what CCGs should look like and the coalition is totally committed to supporting CCGs’ independence and helping their leaders to work through any challenges that may arise.’

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