Clinical Commissioning Groups: the Motors of Health Service Privatisation

Driving the Government’s plans to privatise the NHS will be local Clinical Commissioning Groups comprised of groups of GP’s. There are currently three proposed CCG’s in Birmingham, Cross City, Birmingham South and Central, and Sandwell and West Birmingham. It is understood that the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG is in the first wave of CCG’s awaiting authorisation from the NHS Commissioning Board.

The CCG’s will play a key role in commissioning health services and will have a nationwide budget of £64bn at their disposal. They are charged with developing Commissioning Plans and replace the role of Primary Care Trusts. The CCG’s will have responsibility for commissioning or buying health and care services including non-specialist acute services, community services, Mental health, and continuing healthcare among others.

The big move to privatisation is the requirement upon CCG’s to contract with ‘Any qualified provider’. Once registered as a qualified provider with Monitor private sector companies will be free to seek contracts with CCG’s anywhere in the country.

CCG’s in London have already signed contracts worth £7m with consultancies including KPMG McKinsey, and Price Waterhouse for ‘intensive organisational support’. Some of these consultancies were active in influencing Government health policy from the outside, actively lobbying for Health and Social Care Act, and will they will now profit from and influence the development of CCG’s from the inside.

Influence over the CCG’s is a potentially important battle ground and 38 degrees, an online campaigning community, has launched a petition demanding that CCG’s amend their constitutions to protect NHS services and to ensure proper consultation with patients.

Through 38 Degrees, meetings are being convened to involve local people in campaigning to pressure their CCG’s to make changes to their constitutions. In Birmingham a campaign group has started to meet and has plans to make contact with the three local CCG’s and will be seeking copies of their draft constitutions. An important priority for the campaign is to explain to the public what is happening to their NHS and to get them involved in lobbying their CCG.

If you would like to get involved

1. Sign the 38 Degrees petition

2. Join in with the street petitioning activity in Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre on Saturday 10th November from 11am.

3. Updates on the campaign can be found on the West Midlands Save our NHS webpage

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4 Comments

Filed under News, petition

4 responses to “Clinical Commissioning Groups: the Motors of Health Service Privatisation

  1. I’m currently organising a network of people – journalists, health workers, students, activists – to scrutinise CCGs at http://helpmeinvestigate.com/health/ – we’re gathering together information on board composition, constitutions, registers of interest and FOI contacts.

    If I can help in any way – or if you want to get involved, please let me know at paul@helpmeinvestigate.com or on Twitter @paulbradshaw

  2. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Clinical Commissioning Groups: the Motors of Health Service Privatisation

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