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CCGs ‘dissatisfied’ with support services on offer

5 March 2012

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The majority of CCGs are “dissatisfied” with their commissioning support, a survey suggests. 

Ninety-five of the 254 CCGs responded to the poll by the Clinical Commissioning Coalition – a joint venture by the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) and the NHS Alliance. 

More than four fifths of respondents expressed “dissatisfaction” with the rolling out of their commissioning support programme and over 80% of respondents said they had not been given “sufficient” information about the choices available. 

A further 70.7% were less than happy with the level of commissioning support being offered. 

Most damning of all was the finding that two out of every ten CCGs surveyed admitted they had decided to use their local PCT cluster for support services because “they were too busy to explore alternative arrangements”. 

However, a higher proportion of CCGs (26.7%) said they had opted for their PCT clusters’ offering because relationships with PCT support staff were “good”.  

Chair of the NAPC Dr Charles Alessi said the snapshot survey shows CCGs are falling victim to “central control”, which he claims if “incompatible” with the intentions of the Health and Social Care Bill. 

“Clinical Commissioners should be treated as intelligent customers not, as happens in some areas, as servants of their commissioning support,” said Dr Michael Dixon, Chair of the NHS Alliance. 

“It is crucial that we get this right from the very beginning if we are to allay fears expressed by other organisations that commissioning support will come to dominate and influence decisions that will need in future to be made by the clinical commissioners themselves.” 

CCGs under the NHS North of England SHA cluster had the highest level of responses with 33.7%, compared with NHS Midlands and East (32.6%), NHS South of England (21.1%) and NHS London (12.6%).