The government is set to impose further requirements on clinical commissioning groups’ governing bodies, HSJ has learned.
The Department of Health will lay before Parliament regulations setting out governance requirements for the groups in coming days.
HSJ understands there will be at least two new rules. Firstly, the nurse who will be mandated to sit on the governing body will not be allowed to be working in primary care. Previously many CCGs had been planning for nurses working in member GP practices to fulfil the requirement.
The reasons for the change are that the DH wants the nurse to give a “different perspective”, to primary care, and concerns about less experienced and qualified practice nurses to promote care quality among providers.
Secondly, the regulations will specify that councillors may not sit on CCG boards. It is unclear how many CCGs had planned to appoint councillors.
Senior NHS sources told HSJ the regulations will also confirm that the nurse - and the acute care medic who will also be required to sit on the board – must not be employed by major local providers to the CCG.
This had been proposed by the government previously, but many of those involved in developing CCGs had hoped it would be changed in the final regulations.
HSJ understands some are having difficulty finding clinicians from outside their area who want to sit on take up the posts.
Government regulations expected to be published soon are also due to confirm that the NHS Commissioning Board will be allowed to award “quality premium” pay for performance bonuses to commissioning groups. It is understood the commissioning board will be left to decide on critical questions such as the size of rewards, what the money may be used for, and which performance requirements and indicators they will be linked to.