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CCGs risk being ‘paralyzed’ by CoI debate

28 June 2012

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Conflicts of interests among CCGs is causing tensions and “polarising” GPs, a former Coventry CCG member has said.

GP Dr Jamie Macpherson was forced to leave his position in his local CCG Godiva Clinical Commissioning group because it conflicted with his role as secretary of Coventry LMC.

Speaking at the Commissioning Show in London yesterday (27 June) Jonathan Hayden, Associate at law firm Browne Jacobson LLP, urged emerging CCGs to focus on managing conflicts of interest instead of “unrealistically trying to avoid them”.

“You will not be able to avoid conflicts of interest, they are inherent, endemic and inevitable,” said Hayden.

“If you are not conflicted, you are probably not interested.”

When asked of the impact of the issue of conflicts of interest upon GPs, Dr Macpherson said it was a source of tension and threatened to “polarise” the profession.

He said GPs were turning more and more to LMCs to protect them against CCGs.

Dr Jude Kelly, a GP in Ashford, Kent said while CCGs should recognise and manage conflicts of interest, they should not allow themselves to become “frightened by them, otherwise the reforms will risk “achieving nothing”.

“I am worried the discussions around conflict of interests will paralyze CCGs in the way PCTs were paralyzed in moving capacity out of hospitals out into the community,” he said.

Ben Troke, a Partner at the same firm, also warned CCGs may have to refresh their registers containing details of the interests of all members and employees on a quarterly basis, which would be subject to a review.