STRUCTURE: Commissioning groups in Cambridgeshire - which have been at the forefront of the government reforms - may have to reform after changes to the Health Bill.

The government has said commissioning groups should “not normally” cross the boundaries of councils and created new rules for the governing bodies of clinical commissioning groups – the new name for consortia.

Chair of the Cambridgeshire Clinical Senate Dr Simon Hambling said the changes to the rules would have a “significant impact” on the plans for commissioning in Cambridgeshire.

Dr Hambling is part of the Borderline Commissioning Consortium, which currently sits across Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and was looking to include practices in South Lincolnshire.

Groups crossing boundaries will have to give a “clear rationale in terms of benefits for patients” and provide an account of how they expect to “achieve better integration” with social care.

Dr Hambling said since his patients at Doddington Medical Centre more often go to Hinchingbrooke hospital he would not be able to use a “patient flows” argument to be part of the Borderline group which centres around Peterborough.

He said: “We are waiting for a clear view of the authorisation process. It may mean switching to another consortium.”

He also said the creation of multi professional Clinical Senates to be involved in commissioning meant the Cambridge Senate would have to change its name.