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Further CCG resignations

Further CCG resignations

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A CCG chair has announced he will be stepping down later this year, joining at least three who have already left their posts. 

Dr Peter Rudge was chairman of Plymouth and West Devon, as part of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG. 

He  announced on social media site Twitter that he currently “had no plans” but needed “to change [his] perspective”. 

Dr Rudge had been involved with clinical commissioning for many years, and is also the vice chair of Plymouth Health and Wellbeing board – a role he will also step down from. 

He said: "I leave behind a dedicated team and a CCG who are in good shape and are well placed to meet the challenges ahead.



"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those dedicated individuals whom I have had the pleasure of working with - in the NHS, Local Authority, Public Health and Community and Voluntary Sector, and I wish you all well for the future.”

He has stated that he will continue to practice as a GP. 

Vice chair Dr Steve Harris will take over as chair from autumn temporarily, before local GPs vote for a permanent successor. 

Other CCG chairs who intend to leave their roles include regular The Commissioning Review contributor Dr Helen Tattersfield from Lewisham CCG, Dr Tony Banerjee from Hull CCG and Dr Raian Sheikh from Mansfield and Ashfield CCG. 

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Comments

I fully understand the pressures that the leaders of CCGs are experiencing in the current environment. I think there is a need for us to re-imagine the way we, as GPs interface with commissioning. It is oversimplifying it but I believe there are three levels:

1. The level at which we all engage with commissioning from practice level. This will take interest and occasional meetings and an engagement in giving our views and ideas. Frankly, that will be the most that GPs fully engaged with their practices will feel able to give and that will often feel a stretch.

2. There are those who are able and motivated to take a clinical lead in specific areas. This may or may not include being a member of a governing body. This is only achievable if regular time is freed from practice. By regular, I do not mean a Tuesday afternoon or a Friday morning (though that could be the case) but a specified number of sessions per week or month that can be flexibly used to provide the leadership with innovation and energy.

3. That leaves the larger leadership roles in CCGs. Arguably this can include CO, Chair, Vice/Deputy Chair and other substantive roles. I believe these do not simply require freed up sessions - though freed up time is essential. These are more a career option. Those who undertake these roles are really saying that as a part of their career they are becoming a leader within the commissioning community. That is not irreversible and it is still possible to do it for a period and then slot back into practice. However, it is definitely not a simple diversion from the real work! It is the real work equally as much as seeing patients: we are ensuring the health and health care of our populations is catered for with safety, effectiveness and good experience.

I am far from suggesting that any of those who have stepped down as chairs have done so without long thought and the best of motives. What I am suggesting is that we need to promote involvement at these levels with a different emphasis for future GP leaders. It is a career option at this level and to pursue it as less is likely to lead to frustration.

Phil Moore

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