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‘CCGs to disappear in the next couple of years’ says RPS president

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13 February 2018

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EXCLUSIVE

Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) president Ashok Soni has told Healthcare Leader that ‘Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are likely to disappear within a few-years time’.

He continued: ‘In a way, CCGs are going to disappear in the next couple of years because of the way structures are changing.

EXCLUSIVE

Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) president Ashok Soni has told Healthcare Leader that ‘Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are likely to disappear within a few-years time’.

He continued: ‘In a way, CCGs are going to disappear in the next couple of years because of the way structures are changing.

‘The financial pressure on CCGs is now so great that unless they become bigger organisations, which have less senior staff, the cost savings aren’t going to be there.

‘If you’re going to be able to compete with the big providers you need hospitals and commissioning at scale.’

'Disparate system'

When the CCGs were created in 2012 and replaced primary care trusts (PCTs) in 2013, the trusts had a lay board, with a senior management team and a clinical leadership team – the Professional Executive Committee (PEC) – below it.

Mr Soni said: ‘It would have been much less disruptive and probably given us a better structure if that had been rotated around so the lay board and clinical board would have given an equal stake, supported by the management team. 

'That would have been a very simple thing to do and it wouldn’t have disintegrated the system quite as much as they did because in a way part of the problem we got was we ended up with these very disparate bits of the system. 

‘What people are now desperately trying to do is bring them all together again. That’s why ACOs are on the way, to bring things back together, which got broken up during that phase.’

STPs: more sustainable?

Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) are ‘’bigger footprints that emerged a couple of years ago because ‘there was a realisation that what small organisations were trying to manage was no longer sustainable’, said Mr Soni.

Under NHS England’s plans, all STPs will eventually become Accountable Care Systems (ACS), which might then lead to the establishment of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs).

Mr Soni said that ‘a similar footprint to CCGs might be used at that level’.

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