The NHS Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) have teamed up to form an independent body to give clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) a “united voice”.
The coalition aims to ensure CCGs are at the heart of the new NHS as opposed to “being controlled by the centre and overburdened by statutory responsibilities.”
Among their shared principles, the NHS Alliance and NAPC believe CCGs should have GPs as majority members with a strong primary care focus and NHS provision should be appropriately distributed across the public, third and independent sectors.
“We will listen to and represent CCGs’ views and concerns without compromise, wherever and whenever necessary,” said Dr Michael Dixon, Chairman of the NHS Alliance.
“We will be a united voice that will serve to balance the top-heavy approach often seen in the NHS. We will insist on ‘nothing about us without us’.”
The independent body plans to lobby the government to review the role and power of the NHS Commissioning Board to ensure it is set up as an organisation “that enables rather than controls CCG’s work”.
The coalition also expects to work with the government so that aspiring CCGs receive the funds intended to support their development.
“These are exciting, if challenging, times,” said Dr Johnny Marshall, Chairman of the NAPC.
“The strength of our two organisations working in partnership on the same agenda should reassure CCGs of our commitment to their cause and that of their patients.”
Both NHS Alliance and NAPC will have ownership over the CCG initiative while maintaining their individual identities in respect of other functions.