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Only one concern about CCG conflicts of interests received, says NAO report


11 September 2015

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Only one of Monitor’s formal investigations included a concern about conflicts of interest in a CCG, up to June 2015, a National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed today.

Only one of Monitor’s formal investigations included a concern about conflicts of interest in a CCG, up to June 2015, a National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed today.

Some 1,300 (41%) of CCG governing body members in 2014-15 were also GPs, and during this time “a minority of CCGs had reported they had to manage actual or perceived conflicts of interest”, states the report Managing conflicts of interest in NHS CCGs.

However, the report showed that the adequacy of commissioners risk management controls varied and that NHS England had little data on how effectively CCGs are managing conflicts of interest or whether they are complying with requirements. Similarly NAO said they could not always assess from publicly available information how CCGs had managed such conflicts of interest, limiting local transparency.

Responding to the NAO report Dr Amanda Doyle, (pictured) co-chair of NHSCC and chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “Our members recognise that potential conflicts of interest will occur when CCGs commission primary care, but they are manageable.

“As long as CCGs are working to their strategic commissioning plans and have the recommended checks and balances in place when they procure services, then the rationale for what and how they are commissioning from member practices will withstand scrutiny.”

From April 2015, CCGs could choose to co-commission primary care services from GPs, which the report suggests is likely to increase significantly the number and scale of conflicts of interest.

Commenting on the report, Dr Steve Kell co-chair of NHSCC and chair of NHS Bassetlaw CCG added: “We have all been through a robust authorisation process when we were set up, and a similar process again when taking on co-commissioning responsibilities.

“CCGs must have strong governance plans in place to maintain confidence in the probity of their own commissioning, and maintain confidence in the integrity of clinicians,” he said.

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