Commissioning England Wales

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Ensuring transparency and probity

Guidance on conflicts of interest for GPs in their role as commissioners and providers

Decisions about allocation of resources, population need and service design are complex, particularly in light of the purchaser-provider split.  As Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) discharge their statutory duties, doctors in commissioning roles have responsibility for significant amounts of public money.

Doctors have a valuable contribution to make to the commissioning process.  If you have taken on a commissioning role you should consider issues relating to conflict of interest and professional implications to ensure that the benefits of clinician-led commissioning are realised without undermining the doctor-patient relationship.

All GP practices are required by law to be a member of a CCG. GPC has also produced guidance which discusses issues of conflict for GPs as providers. 

Read the GPC guidance on conflicts of interest for GPs as commissioners

Read the GPC guidance on conflicts of interest for GPs as providers


Guidance on primary care co-commissioning and conflicts of interest

From April 2015, those CCGs granted delegated commissioning responsibility have had greater authority to commission primary care.

In December 2014, NHS England updated its statutory guidance, ‘Managing Conflicts of Interest: Statutory Guidance for CCGs’ (hereinafter referred to as the “Statutory Guidance”). Please note this Statutory Guidance supplants the version released by NHS England in 2013.

Read the NHS England guidance on managing conflicts of interest

GPC has also prepared guidance to help GP practices and LMCs interpret NHS England’s Statutory Guidance. The GPC guidance also contains model wording covering GP contract and performance management that can be inserted into CCG constitutions.

Having taken legal advice on this matter, GPC suggests that CCGs taking on board joint or delegated commissioning arrangements should introduce an additional paragraph in their constitutions. This paragraph expressly references the concerns of their member practices and specifically covers contract management.

Read the GPC guidance on conflicts of interests in the context of co-commissioning