The first chair of the new Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is a medical director from the old NHS PCT and a senior GP from a Virgin Care ‘Partner’ Surgery
Trowbridge GP Stephen Rowlands has been a senior partner at the Bradford Road surgery for 27 years and served as the medical director of Wiltshire’s Primary Care Trust for the past year. “I am very keen to support the transition from PCT to clinical commissioning as smoothly as possible,” the doctor said. (‘This is Bath’, Monday 7th May 2012)
This looks reassuring – hopefully a GP led CCG will avoid the worst excesses of the governments top down NHS “reforms” to be seen elsewhere in the country.
But just one word of caution, Dr Rowland’s Bradford Road Surgery, is a Virgin Care ‘Partner’. When Richard Branson took over ‘Assura‘ he inevitably gained access to hundreds of GPs who were joining CCGs across the country as part of the government’s reform programme. There are already fifteen surgeries in Wiltshire that are Virgin Care ‘Partners’ so there is a possibility that there are more Virgin Care ‘Partners’ in the Wiltshire CCG. Is this a good thing?? What does being a Virgin Care ‘Partner’ mean?? Is there a potential for a conflict of interest?? Who knows?? However, it does look like Virgin Care have got off to a good start in Wiltshire.