Commissioners in Staffordshire have received endorsement from members for their plans to appoint a single accountable officer, despite GPs previously submitting a vote of no confidence in the CCGs.
The leadership of North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent clinical commissioning groups said they have received support from “a clear majority” of their members over plans to appoint a single accountable officer.
This follows the North Staffordshire local medical committee submitting a vote of no confidence on behalf of GPs earlier this month, prompted by concerns over plans to create a single commissioning body and appoint a single accountable officer across six CCGs in the region.
North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent CCGs already share an accountable officer, Marcus Warnes, and a senior leadership team but have not merged.
The vote of no confidence was reported by Pulse magazine earlier this week, but HSJ can now reveal CCG members have agreed to endorse the proposals.
Mr Warnes said: “We are delighted that with a clear majority in support and robust safeguards in place, members have endorsed the proposals and we can now move forwards with the other four CCGs to streamline and strengthen commissioning and leadership arrangements that will enable us to deliver better outcomes for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.”
Following the vote of no confidence, the CCGs agreed to several “conditions” to be placed on their plans in relation to the appointment process for the single commissioning committee, the protection of individual CCG budgets and continued support for the development of a northern Staffordshire multispecialty community provider.
Ruth Chambers, clinical chair for Stoke-on-Trent CCG, and Alison Bradly, clinical chair for North Staffordshire CCG, said: “The governing bodies of both CCGs completely understand the position of the LMC and the clear sentiment of our members and their concerns expressed through the vote.
“However, the governing bodies and other STP partners believe that a single accountable officer and strategic commissioning structure across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will deliver the best outcomes for our populations whilst ensuring that we can meet the local needs of our patients.
“Our members have sent us a clear message that we hadn’t engaged with them sufficiently to get their views and allay their concerns and lessons have been learned from this. Specifically, a range of conditions have been agreed by the CCGs and placed upon the proposed arrangements that reflect and hopefully allay the concerns of our members.”
Information given to HSJ