Committee (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 14th November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 7:00 pm, 14th November 2011

I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way again. I think it is a very interesting point about the size of clinical commissioning groups. My amendment was simply a probe to get a debate on this. Is there not a tension here? In order to get CCGs dealing with strategic issues, they have to be pretty large and cover a large population, but, in order to get the interest of GPs, they need to be smaller because the GPs need to feel involved. In essence, there is a tension there. The approach of the previous Government of taking primary care trusts and encouraging more practice-based commissioning may well have proved to be a better approach. The risk with CCGs at the moment is that, when they emerge with a board, they will be so removed from the individual GP that the very purpose of setting them up in the first place, which of course was about controlling demand through GPs, will lose that essential aim.