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5 November 2011 | Adam Leach
Just 15 out of every 100 family
doctors believe they have the skills to handle commissioning responsibilities entrusted
to them as part of the UK government’s health reforms.
According to research published
this week, 85 per cent of GPs are worried about commissioning treatments and
services for patients because they do not have the necessary procurement experience.
In addition, 90 per cent have “real concerns” over facing increased liability
as a result of being part of a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The report, commissioned by law
firm DMH Stallard and
management consultants Kurt Salmon, consulted
400 GPs over their preparedness to take on the extra responsibilities.
DMH Stallard partner Nick Leavey,
said: “A major area of concern for GPs is the fact that they have no expertise
in the ‘business’ of running a CCG with 72 per cent admitting they have no
experience in areas like data management, costing clinical services,
negotiating with providers, procurement law and contract and financial
Of those surveyed, half had
established a CCG and half had not, but almost three quarters doubted or didn’t
know whether they would be able to control costs.
In July last year, an interim
head of procurement at an NHS trust spoke to SM about the proposals on the condition of anonymity. They said: “The
decision [to make GPs responsible for medical care procurement] will lead to a
fragmented service. A better route is to reduce the number of primary care
trusts because they were starting to work collaboratively. How will it work if
the procurement is fragmented into 500 different GP groups?”