RCGP echoes BMA attack on commissioning support plans

The RCGP has echoed BMA criticism of a draft DoH report on commissioning, warning that 'alarm bells' are ringing over the government's plans.

Dr Gerada: ‘This paper rings alarms bells about the government's priorities.'
Dr Gerada: ‘This paper rings alarms bells about the government's priorities.'

The draft guidance paper Developing Commissioning Support: Towards Service Excellence sets out DoH plans to establish organisations that will offer technical support to commissioning groups.

The BMA has hit out at the proposals, warning that they could lead to the privatisation of commissioning management advice and back office support.

The RCGP has now voiced its own concerns, urging the government to rethink its plans.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said: ‘The paper casts doubt on the government's commitment to equip clinicians with the authority and resources to manage commissioning.'

Dr Gerada set out four key principles for an effective commissioning system:

  • Give GPs meaningful control over the guiding and shaping of services in order to achieve the improved healthcare outcomes for patients.
  • Provide sufficient funding to enable CCGs to deliver the level of service that patients need.
  • Equip GPs with the competencies and confidence to manage the commissioning process.
  • Ensure that CCGs are working over sufficiently large populations to provide stability within the system and be fair to - and safe for - patients.

Dr Gerada added: ‘This paper rings alarms bells about the government's priorities. A majority of GPs remain very concerned about the potential negative effects of the reforms on patient outcomes. In our most recent snapshot survey of RCGP members, only 13% said that they thought the government's reforms would deliver better patient care, and 75% supported the view that the Bill should be withdrawn.’

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