Health Select Committee discusses Health and Social Care Act

On Tuesday 14 May 2013, the Health Select Committee, heard evidence from clinical experts on the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Valerie said:

“I asked about decision making in the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and was concerned when the response contained no reference to patients. In the written evidence ‘National Voices’ has said that there should be statutory guidance to Clinical Commissioning Groups on trying to promote the involvement of each patient in their decision.”

“When I asked how CCGs deal with conflicts of interests, Dr Bhargava from the Crawley CCG said that they refer commissioning decisions to a committee with no GPs on it. This seems somewhat confusing as GPs are supposed to be at the heart of commissioning.”

“I was surprised that when I asked if local people would be involved in any reconfiguration of local services, I received the response that CCGs would probably not be involved in this process. Nigel Edwards, a Senior Fellow at the King’s Fund, said that ‘most CCGs are not necessarily big enough to be able to take a strategic view of the hospital services…it is not at all clear how CCGs and all the other parties work together.’”

“In evidence to us, it was stated that Community Support Units, which were established to provide CCGs with procurement and contract support, are staffed with former employees of the old Primary Care Trusts who have been re-employed in these new bodies. Public Funds have been used to make them redundant, only for them to be re-employed into the system.”

“I asked if there is evidence of a meltdown in primary care and was concerned about the response that it was difficult to see the exact level of demand since studies are only carried out once every five years. Dr Bhargava, the Clinical Chair of the Crawley CCG said that ‘It is a really important question because 90% of all health contact is in primary care…people are working at 110% capacity…my wife is a GP and [she is] going to work at about 7.00 or 7.30 in [the] morning to catch up on paperwork’”

The full recording of the Health Select Committee evidence session on the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 may be found here: