MPs: Let nurses commission for the NHS too

By Ian Dunt

Nurses should be able to sit on the commissioning boards deciding on NHS spending, MPs have argued.

With plans for NHS reform on pause while David Cameron and Nick Clegg offer concessions to its critics, MPs jumped to make suggestions about the way the new buying system should work.

The Commons health committee advised that the commissioning groups being created out of GPs’ consortia should be radically expanded to include representatives from social care, nursing, public health and hospital medicine.

They also suggested that the commissioning boards should include one elected member – either a councillor or elected mayor.

“The proposals are sound and if implemented would help to make sense of what so far has been a confusing and poorly thought-through reform,” said Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives.

The committee also suggested that NHS commissioners have a chief executive and a finance director and an independent chair.

Under the health and social care bill, GPs would be forced to partake in commissioning through consortia, although the compulsory aspect is thought to be under consideration by government.