Senior GPs have renewed their criticism of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) for failing to appoint practising primary care clinicians to a senior level in the organisation.
Dr James Kingsland, president of the National Association of Primary Care and the Department of Health’s clinical commissioning network lead, accused the NHS CB of not having the right connection with frontline GPs due to its lack of practising clinicians on the board.
“The board structure seems to think those very senior clinicians who have now become full-time managers is enough to see the changes to the NHS through,” he says.
“But it is absolutely not enough. We need to see clinicians on the board who are seeing week in week out what is challenging patients and NHS staff.”
Speaking at the NHS Alliance annual conference in Bournemouth last week (21 November 2012) Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the organisation, urged Ian Dalton, chief operating offer and deputy chief executive of the NHS, to revisit the lack of primary care representation on the board “as a matter of urgency”.
A spokesperson for the NHS CB said: “The NHS Commissioning Board is fully committed to clinical leadership at all levels, and the board itself includes three directors who have combined experience of more than 80 years’ practise on the front line of the NHS.
“Dame Barbara Hakin practised as a GP for 25 years, Jane Cummings practised as a nurse for 30 years and continues to work a nursing volunteer for charity, and Sir Bruce Keogh practiced as a surgeon for 27 years.”