London’s GPs are being offered management training worth £7m in an attempt to smooth their passage to becoming clinical commissioning groups.
CCGs have already begun buying training using part of the strategic health authority’s £1.2bn multi-professional education and training budget for 2011-12.
SHA director of strategy and commissioning development Hannah Farrar told HSJ the aim was for “CCGs to be well placed to get through the authorisation process”.
The government has previously announced that any CCG failing to be authorised by April 2013 will operate in shadow form, with the NHS Commissioning Board commissioning on their behalf.
Ms Farrar warned this would lead to clinicians feeling “disenfranchised”. She said if they failed, “something unclear and potentially very distanced from local communities will be doing the commissioning of their services”.
NHS London associate medical director for primary care Dr Howard Freeman said: “It’s about making sure that in the future leadership of commissioning in London everyone has been exposed to a core offering [of training] on an equal basis.”
Under the framework CCGs can choose to receive training from one of eight “alliances” of providers. These include the combination of the Royal College of GPs’ Centre for Commissioning, McKinsey and the Ashridge Alliance for Clinical Commissioning; a group led by Capita; and another led by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
One group – the KPMG partnership for commissioning – includes training company Cumberlege Connections, founded by the Conservative former health minister Baroness Cumberlege.
She told HSJ: “I pride myself on being transparent” and said she would declare the directorship during the Health Bill debate.