THE Isle of Wight NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the GP-led body responsible for commissioning Island health and social care services, has called for greater local control over services.
It has bid for a more formal role in shaping primary care, giving it more power to procure contracts and commission pharmacy services.
It comes after NHS England asked all CCGs to submit expressions of interest if they wished to take responsibility for commissioning primary care, in light of concerns a lack of of local control was hindering efforts to integrate hospital and community services.
Caroline Morris, head of primary care and corporate business at the Isle of Wight CCG, said: "Most decisions about how primary care services operate take place over the water in Southampton at NHS England offices. The CCG here on the Island wants greater control over our own local health system so we can realise the Island’s health and social care strategy.
"We are particularly interested in measures which better support the shared vision for health and social care on the Island and improve the integration of services.
"There are risks in seeking more involvement in primary care commissioning and also in not doing so. If NHS England approves our proposals, we will need to be very clear with the public how we manage any potential conflicts of interests with GPs, on the other hand if we do not seek to take responsibility for primary care a key part of the health system remains outside local control and makes it more difficult to achieve true integration."
It was incorrectly reported initially that the CCG's bid concerned services at St Mary's Hospital. The bid covers all primarry care, which although involves some hospital services, mainly relates to GP practices.