The former CCG lead of NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG has been ousted from his position following a “GP conspiracy”.
Dr Simon Hambling was elected to his position by GPs to guide Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG through the authorisation process but was replaced by Dr Neil Modha in May this year.
The large CCG covering 855,000 patients was a result of a merger of 8 CCGs in December 2011.
Dr Hambling claims GPs in Peterborough “conspired” against him after perceiving him as “obstructive” in not granting their wish to employ a sizeable management structure within the CCG.
“Following the merger, it was clear GPs in Peterborough wanted to recruit loads of managers to the CCG,” he said.
”Given the £25 per head management allowance, it was just not viable and I had to say no. That led to them seeing me as being obstructive in not granting their unrealistic and ambitious plans.
“ NHS Peterborough is already struggling with a £13m deficit – a figure Dr Hambling said “they haven’t got a hope of repaying by 2013”.
”The CCG will run into financial problems from the outset as it seems GPs are intent on running the CCG for their own interests rather than those of their patients.”
Andy Vowles, Chief Operating Officer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said Dr Modha’s appointment was carried out in line with national guidance and followed a “competitive process”.
“The appointment panel for the Accountable Officer role included a representative from the National Commissioning Board, GPs, a patient rep and representatives from the PCT,” he said.
“The panel appointed Dr Modha to the role as they felt that he was the best candidate to lead the CCG into the next phase of its development.
“We recognise and are grateful to Dr Hambling for the important leadership role that he played in helping to develop the CCG.
Vowles said Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is currently working “within its allocated budget” and is working with the PCT and other partners to mitigate financial risk.
Dr Hambling maintains the merger that subsequently led to his downfall was the “right thing to do” from a patient perspective but admits it was a “tactical blunder”.
“Personally speaking I regret the merger as it cost me a job but I don’t regret it from the perspective of the healthcare system because it was the right thing to do for patients – and the healthcare system is much bigger than me,” he said.
“ A spokesman for the NHS Commissioning Board said it is the responsibility of each CCG to determine who should sit on their governing body and declined to comment on the replacement of Dr Hambling further.
Following his removal from the CCG board, Dr Hambling has since lodged a formal complaint with the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough PCT cluster over the “incredibly messy affair” but remains philosophical about the future.
“I now have more time at my practice doing the day job and my kids now remember they have a father, so it is not all bad,” he said.