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RCN: CCGs should not appoint inexperienced nurses to board roles

  • 26 Comments

Nurses selected to sit on the boards of clinical commissioning groups must have “significant experience” of the whole healthcare system and “proven managerial capability”, according to guidance due to be published by the Royal College of Nursing.

The guidance is a response to the RCN’s concerns that the CCGs being set up around the country are often picking practice nurses, with little wider experience of the NHS or leadership, as the profession’s representative on their board.

CCGs will take over responsibility for the majority of the NHS budget from primary care trusts in April next year. The government last year said the groups must have at least one nurse on the board, following Nursing Times’ “Seat on the Board” campaign and calls from other groups including the college.

But RCN policy director Howard Catton told Nursing Times it was receiving reports CCGs were publishing job descriptions and hiring individuals who were unqualified and inexperienced for their future role.

The RCN document, called “Towards Authorisation – the Lead Nurse Contribution to Clinical Commissioning Groups”, is being sent to emerging CCGs around the country. It is understood the Department of Health may also include some of the document’s suggestions in formal guidance for CCGs, to be published over the next two months.

The RCN document says CCG nurses should be “clinical leaders who have significant experience and understanding of the whole health and social care system”. They should be “senior nurses, particularly those who have gained previous experience in commissioning”, it says.

The document also sets out the critical roles nurse board members will play on CCGs, the competencies they should have, and a model job description.

Essential requirements are that the nurse “should have senior management experience and a broad understanding of the complexities of care; experience of working in a variety of settings; [and] should have experience of clinical service redesign”.

It is also “desirable” that they have commissioning experience and expertise in safeguarding and in monitoring quality standards, the paper says.

Mr Catton told Nursing Times: “Our local intelligence has been in some areas it looks as though predominantly practice nurses – as important as they are – are being asked to become involved [on boards].

“They may not have the experience, for example, in strategic service redesign and multi-stakeholder involvement, and the commissioning experience we think is necessary for a corporate lead nursing role of this significance.”

  • 26 Comments

Readers' comments (26)

  • michael stone

    Practice nurses from within the CCG's underlaying group of GPs should be barred from being on the CCG as the 'statutory nurse', as should laymen who have a commercial connection with the GPs or are patients of those particular GPs.

    I don't have any problem with practice nurses or patients being on these CCGs so long as they are not part of that group of 4 'statutory' appointees (2 laymen, a nurse and a hospital doctor) - but those 4 people should be beyond any 'direct influence from the GPs', or they seem fairly pointless !

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  • I agree but there is an element of "it's my ball and you're not playing with it!" GP's have not always recognised that nurses could or should play any part in "their business." They are self employed, poorly controlled and monitored and the Government is handing them the budget. Fundholding had it's challenges but watch out for this one! There should be some imaginative schemes, let's hope at least they are in the interests of the patients and not just the GP's.

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  • tinkerbell

    Mr Catton told Nursing Times: “Our local intelligence" ha ha! Puhleese.

    At least lets ask that they be tested by MENSA first.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 8-Feb-2012 11:26 am

    According to an MP on R4 a day or two ago, in her constituency there is already at least one example of GPs who are commissioning secondary services from something they themselves own - that has nothing to do with 'working out what our patients need' (as I understood it, the rationale of the changes) and everything to do, I suspect, with 'lining my own pockets'. At the very least, it raises that suspicion - GPs should not be allowed to be at 'both ends' of commissioning.

    That is how it was 'sold' by Cameron et al - all to do with patient choice, moving decision-making closer to patients, etc - but it will, I think, turn into something some GPs use to make a lot of money from !

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  • "RCN: CCGs should not appoint inexperienced nurses to board roles"

    isn't that obvious?

    although there is a double meaning in this headline.

    i.e.

    1. CCGs should not appoint nurses without experience to these roles

    2. Nurses do not have enough experience to be appointed to these roles!

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  • "Mr Catton told Nursing Times: “Our local intelligence has been in some areas it looks as though predominantly practice nurses – as important as they are – are being asked to become involved [on boards].

    “They may not have the experience, for example, in strategic service redesign and multi-stakeholder involvement, and the commissioning experience we think is necessary for a corporate lead nursing role of this significance.”"

    It looks as though Mr Catton or the reporter are having a few problems with their English here!

    and why does the RCN have intelligence is this some secret police force?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 9-Feb-2012 12:06 pm

    Or any other old excuse they can find not to appoint a nurse.

    They don't want a nurse disrupting their tea and biscuit meetings and asking obvious/pertinent questions.

    The last time i asked a pertinent question of our Chief Executive like 'what happens if the foundation trusts don't have enough money to pay back the loan?' he ignored me and asked 'does anyone else have any questions?'

    Would anyone like more sand on their head?

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 9-Feb-2012 12:12 pm

    they all probably just had a vat of brandy down at the old boys club before driving off to the next round of bevarage above the alcohol limit.

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  • Are these CCGs really just coffee parties? In which case why do they need nurses with experience?

    Maybe they could also be used to sell Tupperware and Avon Cosmetics, or even, dare I say it, adult sex toy parties! Could be a lot of fun even with dry old biscuits!

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  • how about offering these posts to older nurses or others with experience who would prefer a desk job with regular hours, the retired who would like to carry on working, those who have been made redundant and other job seekers with the relevant experience and others who are interested and working part time in another job?

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