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Rise in numbers of GPs leaving CCG boards


Increasing numbers of GPs are leaving their CCG board posts because of workload and bureaucracy, claims an investigation published in GP magazine.

The magazine collected data under the Freedom of Information Act from 186 of England's 211 CCGs (88% response rate) and found 51 GPs quit CCG board roles between April and August this year.

This represented an acceleration in GPs leaving CCG roles compared with the previous year, when there were 68 departures recorded in the whole 2012-13 financial year.

A total of 160 GPs have resigned from CCGs and their forerunners since 2010, said the magazine, but only six resignations were recorded for 2010-11, rising to 35 the year after.

GP quoted Surrey and Sussex LMC's Dr Jerry Luke, who resigned as clinical director of Crawley CCG in May due to rationing fears.

"I think it is likely that every CCG will have one GP resign this year,” he said, citing rationing, the rise in bureaucracy involved in commissioning and growing practice workload as causes.

"The primary duty is to come in financial balance and GPs are faced with a stark choice, either you cut services or break your terms of service. There are very few areas in the NHS that haven't been cut back already and any more would be frontline services.”

The investigation found that GPs accounted for less than half of CCG board members – of 2,720 board members, 1,188 were GPs.

The BMA's GP committee chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul was quoted as saying that GPs on CCGs were under "huge pressure” from rising workload and scarce resources.

An NHS England spokesperson told GP some turnover was normal in developing organisations, and added: "It is for each GP to determine the extent to which they engage in the formal roles of running a CCG.”

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