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CCGs oppose bigger health role for councils

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Most clinical commissioning group leaders are lukewarm about the prospect of merging or sharing substantial health and social care responsibilities, a survey by LGC’s sister title suggests.

Health reporting HSJ and LGC logo

Respondents to Health Service Journal’s CCG barometer were asked about the policy, being considered by Labour, of making health and wellbeing boards “system leaders” for services for people with multiple long term conditions, disability or frailty.

HWBs would set plans for these services, which CCGs would enact.

Other commentators and politicians have also backed a greater role for HWBs.

Only 16% of respondents said they thought health and care commissioning overall would be improved if the policy was implemented and 29% said health and care services would be better integrated.

A third said they would personally leave their CCG position and 53% said some GP leaders would leave.

Just 14% said their CCG was likely to give significant NHS commissioning responsibility to local authorities in coming years. Thirty-nine per cent said their CCG was likely to take on social care responsibility.

Asked to comment about commissioning integration, one respondent said the presence of providers on many HWBs “would make the difficult decisions on decommissioning services and shifting services more difficult”.

NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair Steve Kell said he would be “extremely concerned about seeing another significant top-down reorganisation and losing that clinical leadership” under the changes being considered by Labour.

The party had not commented as HSJ went to press.

Meanwhile, the barometer found a large majority of CCGs were gearing up to take on management of GP contracts in the next year, despite a level of confusion and controversy about the “co-commissioning” policy.

Seventy per cent said they were likely to take on delegated responsibility for management of GP contracts in the next year.

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