I've been discussing Clinical Commissioning Groups and the various twists and turns for some time - there's no denying they're turning into one of those procurement case studies which just keep on giving.
A very quick summary:
- In 2004 the government negotiated, what is widely viewed as, a bad deal with GPs. The GPs got more money and were able to opt out of providing an 'out of hours' service.
- GPs involved with CCGs expressed concern that they lacked the skills to handle the procurement aspects for CCGs.
- NHS Guidance on procurement appears flawed and has to be rewritten just as it is required.
- CCGs are identified as having clear conflicts of interest within procurement.
- Demand on A&Es increases as a result of the systemic displacement from GPs opting out of providing 'out of hours' services.
- GPs say patient care is suffering through the need to be involved in CCGs.
- GPs are viewed as 'badies' and ministers hope to renegotiate the 2004 contract.
- GPs trade union are threatening a withdrawal of the NHS' flagship Clinical Commissioning Groups.
You could of course view the whole thing as a shambles. But then again you could say it's just brinkmanship. It does have the appearance that one side is better at negotiation than the other though.