GPs in England feel “disengaged” from their local CCG, an independent report has shown.
Published jointly by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund, the report showed that GPs are less likely to feel their CCG is “owned” by them.
The report’s authors suggest the low level of engagement could undermine the heart of the latest healthcare reforms.
Despite GPs being in favour of what CCGs are trying to achieve, many felt decisions taken did not always reflect their views.
King’s Fund fellow Chris Naylor said that there is “a lot of goodwill” towards CCGs.
However, he added: “It is important that CCGs seize the opportunity to build on these positive first signs of engagement and develop strong relationships with their membership, so that they can help general practice evolve and respond to changing needs."
Holly Holder, health policy fellow at the Nuffield Trust warned that CCGs have to sustain the support of their membership.
She said: “CCGs will have to demonstrate how participation from local GPs adds real value to their work. CCG leaders should know which areas of clinical practice GPs perceive to be legitimate spaces for CCGs to influence, and which strategies could risk disengagement.”
The report argues that CCGs will need to strike a careful balance if they want to influence primary care practice without alienating their GP members, on whom they depend for their legitimacy.
There is a clear danger of repeating the same mistakes as previous attempts at clinical commissioning if CCGs fail to bring about service changes that win the support of their member within an acceptable timeframe, it suggests.