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Co-commissioning: conflicts contained

Co-commissioning: conflicts contained

The Health and Social Care act 2012 placed a legal duty in CCGs to manage conflicts of interest

Posted: 4 May 2016

If you’ve missed yesterday’s episode of this week’s feature on co-commissioning, click here.

Writer: Ross Ferguson

The expectation is that now they have the power and influence they requested, CCGs will deliver joined up healthcare and much needed local flexibility, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

One of the reasons the GP-led CCGs weren’t initially given commissioning powers was the concern of conflicts of interest that CCGs may have due to the make-up of the membership.

However, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 places a legal duty on CCGs to manage conflicts of interest and the NHS England guideline Managing conflicts of interest: statutory guidance for CCGs states that when a CCG takes on co-commissioning responsibilities, its audit committee chair and accountable officer are required to provide “direct formal attestation to NHS England that the CCG has complied with the guidance”. Subsequently, this attestation forms part of an annual certification. CCG approaches to management of conflicts of interest are also considered on an ongoing basis as part of CCG assurance.

The NHSCC has worked with the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to support its members to manage conflicts of interest. A National Audit Office (NAO) report from September 2015 on managing conflicts of interest in CCGs, reported that Monitor, the regulator for health services in England, had received relatively few concerns and that just one of its formal investigations concerned conflicts of interest.

Additional concerns that GPs would be monitoring the performance of their colleagues and that this might create tensions, has not been an issue, according to NHSCC, as most CCGs and their members see it as an opportunity to develop closer working relationships, and for the CCG to support GP practices in their area. CCGs, however, can only ‘performance manage’ GP practices, and not individual GPs.

Join us tomorrow for the third episode of this week’s feature on co-commissioning as we’ll be discussing the risks and benefits