Doctors are to consider calling for the outsourcing of commissioning support services to be halted.
More than 500 doctors and medical students at this month’s BMA Annual Representative Meeting will hear concerns that government plans to make commissioning support services free-standing organisations could put services at risk.
BMA members will argue that those plans should not go ahead unless there is transparency about how CSSs will prioritise patient services and promote collaboration. They say safeguards are needed to protect patients from vested interests.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a negotiator for the BMA’s GP committee, told EHI Primary Care that current plans to create commissioning support services as separate entities by 2016 were a major concern for the BMA.
He added: “We think that is to the detriment of the health service. There will be back office functions like accounts or data analysis that may need to be outsourced but the core commissioning functions should be delivered by staff working in the NHS and having organisational loyalty to the NHS.”
Last month’s EHI Primary Care survey of clinical commissioning groups found two –thirds were already planning to work with a local commissioning support service.
But Dr Nagpaul argued that time pressures on CCGs meant many had been forced to choose that option. He said that many CCGs would have preferred to employ their own staff in-house.
He added: “CCGs want to have staff that work for them and are accountable to them but the extremely unrealistic timescale for authorisation has meant many CCGs have chosen external commissioning support due to expedience.”
Dr Nagpaul said the BMA hoped that CCGs would move commissioning support services in-house once they had been established and had more time to get to grips with setting up support services.
The BMA’s annual meeting will also hear claims that CCGs are not fit for purpose due to inadequate management resources, excessive central control and excessive bureaucracy.
A proposal that doctors should withdraw from commissioning until changes are agreed on the NHS pension scheme will also be debated at the conference. The conference will take place from June 25-28 in Bournemouth.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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