The NHS Alliance, National Association of Primary Care and NHS Confederation have partnered to form a single CCG membership body – NHS Clinical Commissioners.
While a full merger between the three bodies has not been proposed, it is a “possible outcome” in the distant future, NHS Alliance Chair Dr Michael Dixon told Management in Practice.
The support of the NHS Confederation is intended to ensure the creation of a unified CCG voice during this tricky transition year and end the divisive working relationships of managers and clinicians.
Dr Dixon said the three representative bodies will remain independent outside of their commissioning interests.
“It is about redrawing the lines and creating an organisation all CCG members will want to join,” said Dr Dixon.
“The body will stop CCGs from being belittled and ignored in the new NHS.”
He said he was “reassured” by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s letter to NHS Commissioning Board Chair Professor Malcolm Grant, but said CCG autonomy alone won’t be enough “if we are left at the bottom of the pile”.
A spokesman from NHS Confederation said: “We are happy to confirm that we are in positive discussions with the NAPC and NHS Alliance clinical commissioning coalition about how we can work together to best represent and support Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and ensure they can connect with the wider NHS as they take on their commissioning functions.”
By Louise Naughton