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CCGs to identify GP contract services

22 November 2012

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will assume some responsibility for identifying the core services of GP contract, Dame Barbara Hakin confirmed yesterday.

Speaking at the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth on 21 November 2012, the managing director for commissioning development at the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) said it is “difficult” to identify the extent of professional service because the changing nature of general practice has meant we have seen “piecemeal” additions of work added “over the years”.

She said she is “heartened” by the number of CCGs  that are “taking it upon themselves” to identify a practice’s core services.

“I am hopeful CCGs will work with practices to define a basket of core general practice services and identify what is above and beyond as additional services while allocating funds where acceptable,” she said.

“This will happen better locally than if the Board tries to define core services on a national scale.”

She insisted CCGs involvement in GP contracts was not a devolvement of responsibility as the NHS CB “still retains overall responsibility”.

Hakin also urged CCGs to ensure all practice staff feel ownership over their local organisation and told delegates not to underestimate the power of the practice manager in practice quality improvement.

“If practices feel disengaged from CCGs you have lost it, you may as well go back to being a PCT,” she said.

Caroline Kerby, co lead of the NHS Alliance’s Practice Manager Network and a practice manager in Brent warned that practice staff wouldn’t have the time to engage with the CCGs due to the increasing demands of the day job and lack of time out of the practice.