CCGs should prioritise the performance management of its practices on the same par as their new commissioning duties or risk morphing into the PCT structure of the old, a DH advisor has warned.
Speaking at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) annual conference in Birmingham on Tuesday (15 May), Dr James Kingsland said the disconnect of the provision of care and commissioning of services is “nonsensical”.
He said the biggest challenge of the reforms will be demonstrating the value of general practice.
“If CCGs solely focus on their commissioning responsibilities, they will inevitably become a poor man’s PCT,” he said.
“There is an overwhelming need to focus on how GPs provide care and CCGs need to help develop and facilitate a system whereby GPs take responsibility for the provision of care in the community to prevent expensive readmissions to hospital.”
Speaking at a thinktank Reform conference on Wednesday (16 May) Dr Kingsland’s colleague at the National Association of Primary Care, Dr Charles Alessi agreed that the performance management of practices will be a key job for CCGs.
“Putting distance between practices may give a CCG comfort in the short term but it will prove dangerous as a long term strategy,” he said.
“Unless a CCG looks inwards to reduce unwarranted variation in the care and access of its practices, it will be limited in the success it can have.”
A spokesperson from the NHS Commissioning Board said it will “allow space” for GP practices to work together through CCGs to support quality improvement in primary care.
Yet it will ultimately remain responsible for “holding practices to account for the quality of services they provide under the GP contract”.