A meeting bringing together health professionals from across the UK has been held to debate the future of clinician-led commissioning.

The first meeting of the Health Care Professionals’ (HCP) Commissioning Network in London brought together local and national clinical leaders from pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, optometry and the allied health professions to discuss how a more “inclusive” approach to clinician led commissioning could be achieved.

The insights and experience of the full gamut of health professionals across the UK could be used to improve commissioning, delegates heard.

National lead for the Practice Based Commissioning Clinical Leaders Network, Dr James Kingsland, who is a member of the HCP Commissioning Network and chaired the meeting, said: “One of the biggest challenges for GP commissioners is being able to undertake robust needs assessment. This is where the insights from other healthcare professionals who see different people or who see our patients in a different light can be invaluable.

“We need to embrace an inclusive model of commissioning and a broad range of health professionals to make GP commissioning the best it can be.”

Stephen Foster, who heads up the HCP Commissioning Network and is a community pharmacy clinical leader and pharmacy superintendent from Kent, said: “This meeting is all about defining the future. Pharmacy needs to add value to the commissioning process.

“We can only do that if we work with GP colleagues collaboratively to define the gaps in commissioning.”