85 per cent of GPs admit they lack commissioning skills

4 November 2011

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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 management.”

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?”


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