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London CCGs playing catch up in the race to authorisation

by Louise Naughton
15 May 2012

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Only three CCGs out of 38 in London have chosen to take part in the first wave of authorisation applications despite a £7m training investment across the region.
NHS London drafted in private firms such as McKinsey and KPMG last year to get London CCGs ready for authorisation.
Yet, only Islington, Kingston and Wandsworth CCGs are confirmed to be taking part in the NHS Commissioning Board’s (NHS CB) first wave of commissioning applications.
NHS London said the investment into external development support “was never meant to fast track the [authorisation] process”.
“The investment made was to give emerging CCGs the development support they need in establishing themselves as new teams and organisations, with a specific focus on development of individuals taking on this new and challenging role,” said a spokesperson from NHS London.
“Emerging CCG Chairs are confident it has helped towards the considerable progress they have made in a relatively short time.”
Dr Phil Moore, Chair of Kingston CCG covering 182,000 patients, said despite the low number of London CCGs in the one of the CCGs in the first wave of authorisation applications, McKinsey and KPMG “did deliver value for money”.
“We had very good help in working through the development process, I don’t know whether the help has been any different in other CCGs,” he said.
“It is not a race to the finish. Every CCG has got to set themselves up in a way that is secure.”
A spokesperson from the NHS CB played down the lack of London CCG presence in its first wave of authorisation applicants, claiming “there is no advantage in being part of any particular wave”.