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NHS survey finds GPs increasingly dissatisfied with CCG engagement

by Carolyn Wickware
16 August 2016

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Declining stakeholder satisfaction in clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is being chalked up to GP dissatisfaction in an NHS England letter to CCG leaders.

NHS England’s latest CCG 360° stakeholder survey found that satisfaction in CCGs on a national level has slipped in every area, including in leadership, engagement, and in plans and priorities, compared to last year’s survey.

In a letter to CCG chairs and accountable officers, Matthew Swindells, national director for commissioning operations and information at NHS England, said that satisfaction “remains high” at 80%, a 3% decrease on 2014, but concedes that it has fallen.

He said: “However, results show that satisfaction has fallen in some areas which in the majority of cases is caused by a shift in feedback from GPs and is not reflected in the positions of other stakeholder groups.”

The survey report, compiled alongside Ipsos Mori, says GPs “are consistently the least positive stakeholder group and on many measures their ratings have declined since 2015”.

The percentage of GPs who think arrangements for member participation in CCG decision-making are effective has seen a drop from 68% in 2015 to 59% in 2016.

Meanwhile, only one in three GP member practices report feeling able to influence CCGs decision-making “a great deal” or a “fair amount”, while nearly a quarter report that they are not at all able to do so at all.

Swindells added in his letter that while these statistics are “disappointing, it needs to be set in the context of a challenging year for the NHS and a recognised growing burden on GPs.”

Despite these figures, the report also found that overall engagement was high, as 98% of stakeholders felt they had been engaged by their CCG in the last year, with 71% satisfied with how that engagement took place.

Swindells concluded his letter by encouraging CCG leaders to establish areas that require improvement, using their CCG-specific and national surveys.

He advised them to “continue to work with your GP member practices and stakeholders to strengthen those relationships”.