Many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are, and have been, bullied on what their ‘appropriate size’ should be, says the Clinical Commissioning Coalition.
CCGs should be able to decide their own composition and size, not PCT clusters for strategic health authorities (SHAs), claims the National Association for Primary Care and the NHS Alliance – the two bodies that formed the coalition.
Dr Michael Dixon, Chair of the NHS Alliance, warned of a ‘worst case scenario’ in which the future size of a CCG depends upon the “presumed management and costs of running a statutory organisation, rather than the size that is necessary for them to carry out their functions most effectively.”
The Clinical Commissioning Coalition is currently working with the Department of Health to look at how small a CCG can be in order to meet the requirements for future NHS Commissioning Board authorisation.
“Until this work is completed, it is entirely inappropriate for either PCT clusters or SHAs to dictate to their constituent CCGs how large or small they should be,” said Dr Dixon.
The coalition is urging CCGs to resist any pressure from PCT clusters and SHAs.
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“Our consortium consists of about 25,000 patients and all the time we are told to join with other consortia and now we are given a time of two weeks. But we are resisting it and waiting something come out from the govt. We gave a suggestion to the health secretary that all consortia should be given one million plus £20.00 per head and in this way all will be working. NHS replied that they have not decided any thing so for. Also there should be some small consortia for the sake of competition and it is up to the govt. We want to from the govt about the management support to each consortia before they stop our management support and they are threatening us about it. We need the permission to have incentive scheme beforehand” – Dr R Bhatti, Birmingham
“South Birmingham Independent Commissioners, Trans Walsall Independent Commissioners, Sparkfield, Birmingham Inner City Commissioners, Hull Independent Clinical Commissioners are few of the many small but most successful commissioning consortia and now CCGs. None of us are allowed to develop a Federated model based on draft (and daft) geographic configuration and these CCGs are being pushed into old PCT type models based on redundant cost models” – Dr Peter Patel, CEO, South Birmingham Independent Commissioners