GPs in Danger of Losing Their Voice, Says KPMG
GPs make up fewer than half the places on new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), according to a report.
“Ever since changes to the way our health system were first proposed doctors were highlighted as the central point of decision-making about how and where to spend the £60 billion annual budget allocated to commissioning boards. Their clinical knowledge and medical expertise has never been in question; rather it has been the fulcrum on which the move to CCGs has been planned,” said Gary Belfield, partner in KPMG’s Healthcare consultancy team.
Belfied added: “The fact is that major commissioning decisions will need involvement from all Practices if the changes are to successfully deliver better healthcare for patients. That’s why it is alarming to see GPs taking fewer than half the available seats on the new CCG Boards.
“Put simply, CCGs are membership organisations made up of the Practices they serve and for this reason, alone, local doctors should have a strong voice on the Boards. Whilst it may be true that many CCGs have strong representation from clinicians, questions must be asked about how engaged our medical communities really are, without enjoying enough seats at the table.
“The last two years have seen major upheaval in the NHS with a particular focus on clinical commissioning. No one is suggesting that change was un-necessary but doctors and patients, alike, will be fully justified in questioning the results if the emerging CCGs are just a re-badged version of what has come before.”