The General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association (BMA) has issued guidance on the governance of GP consortia.
The guidance attempts to provide a ‘framework’ for consortia governance that ‘resists’ using the term ‘board’ on the grounds that ‘to do so would imply the continuation of PCT boards and PCT governance arrangements.’ Instead, the consortium ‘board’ is referred to as the ‘Accountable Body!’ The guidance purports to take a new approach to the governance of commissioning through an ‘Accountable Body’ (i.e. a board!) supported by an ‘executive group’ and an ‘audit group’ [what’s new in this? Ed.]. In a somewhat bizarre demonstration that the GPC does not understand good governance, the guidance calls for a ‘lay management’ to ‘support the elected representatives (i.e. board members) of the organisation.’ So, presumably we will see consortium board members with their own ‘lay managers’ supporting them to hold consortium management to account?
Despite being somewhat lacking in its understanding of ‘good governance’ nevertheless the BMA guidance is currently the only published guidance on consortium governance currently available and, at the very least, provides a framework for discussion and improvement.
Download the BMA’s Governance of GP consortia guidance here.
The GPC has also updated its guidance on electing a consortia leadership, which is complementary to its consortia governance guidance, and this can be downloaded here.