KPMG, NAPC Join Hands to Provide Governance Guidance for GPs
As GPs grapple with the abolition of primary care trusts and creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups in April 2013, KPMG and the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) are publishing the first in a series of guides, designed to support doctors as they seek authorisation from the NHS Commissioning Board.
“Through their Clinical Commissioning Groups, GPs will be responsible for 60 percent of NHS spend from 2013, onwards. It’s a massive responsibility for such embryonic organisations, especially when you consider the close attention being paid to the public purse in the current economic climate,” Gary Belfield, Associate Partner – Healthcare, at KPMG, said.
“That’s why it is imperative GPs put governance at the heart of what they do. It’s essential if they are to instil confidence amongst the patient and political communities and to demonstrate that decisions are being made in an appropriate, transparent, way.”
With the Health and Social Care Bill requiring GPs and their Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to demonstrate a commitment to corporate governance, KPMG and the NAPC have made a series of recommendations.
In terms of transparency, KPMG and NAPC urge GPs to ensure CCGs have access to all necessary data so that decisions are well-informed and based on fact, rather than preference.
They also recommend demonstrating the need for GPs and CCGs to clarify areas of responsibility, monitor and measure activities and spend.
Also in the list is the need to focus on the need to allow time for proper debate, so that decisions are reached via consensus and contentious issues are not ‘rubber stamped’.
Furthermore, they urge allowing the role of CCGs to change according to the needs and demands of local authorities, patients and clinicians.
The joint KPMG-NAPC guidance also advises GPs to follow the ‘Nolan principles’ which govern how individuals should behave in public life. Top of the list is objectivity, integrity and selflessness to ensure that the newly created CCGs are structured in a way that benefits the public they serve and operated in a manner that engages stakeholders.
“CCGs will need to combine the nature of a statutory body with that of a membership organisation if they are to achieve their full potential and improve the health of their local population,” said Dr Jonathan Marshall, chairman of the NAPC.
“Their creation is a genuine opportunity to break new ground in the way the NHS serves our communities, but the structures and processes put in place at the beginning are critical to the long-term success of CCGs and the provision of great good healthcare. That’s why governance is so important, but to really work GPs must see it as an invitation to innovate.”