Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital doctors and nurses should sit with GPs on commissioning boards, say MPs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 05 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2180
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Hospitals doctors, nurses, a public health expert, a local councillor, and a social care representative should sit alongside a majority of GPs on the boards of local commissioning bodies, which should be named NHS commissioning authorities and not GP consortiums, MPs have said.

In a damning report on the government’s plans for the NHS in England, MPs from the cross party select committee on health said that efficient and empowered commissioning is vital if the NHS is to meet the “Nicholson challenge”—the challenge by David Nicholson, the NHS’s chief executive, to achieve £20bn (€22.7bn; $32.3bn) of efficiency savings in the next four years.

The current state of reorganisation of the NHS risks demoralising its workforce and dividing primary and secondary care further rather than bringing them together in the interests of patients, says the report.

The conservative MP Stephen Dorrell, the committee’s chairman and a former health secretary, said that the government’s current plans for reforming the NHS fail to “secure clinical engagement around commissioning” and to ensure good governance. The changes being called for were not …

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