Primary care nurses can have a place on a CCG providing they have the backing of member practices, it is claimed.
Speaking at the Commissioning Show conference last week (28 June), Dame Barbara Hakin, National Managing Director of Commissioning Development at the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB), said the mandatory involvement of secondary care nurses in CCGs was done to “bring a different perspective” to the organisation.
She said there would have been a “huge opportunity” for GP practices to appoint a primary care nursing perspective if the NHS CB had failed to legislate.
Under the new rules, in addition to elected CCG members, there must be four other appointments made – two lay members, a secondary care doctor and a secondary care nurse.
Hakin apologised the decision hadn’t come sooner as she came under fire from a number of CCG leaders.
“I absolutely deny that in legislating a secondary care nurse has a place on a CCG means that we do not value primary care nursing,” she said.
“Practices can elect whoever they want on a governing body. If practices want a primary care nurse on their CCG’s governing body, then there will be a primary care nurse on there.”
“My apologies that these things take time to find an absolute decision.”
Dr Roger Pinnock, Chair of Ashford CCG, was angry by the confusion over CCG nurses.
“My practice nurse has just stepped down from her role on the CCG thanks to the legislation, and now I have got to go back to her to tell her she may still have a part of play,” he said.
“We thought we were moving ahead but the game keeps changing so much it is difficult to keep up.”
Hakin also said the stipulation that secondary nurses on CCGs must not come from a local provider was made clear in the work carried out by the NHS Future Forum during the pause in the government’s legislation.
“The clues have been there,” she said.