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Commissioning and planning

In November 2015, an investigation by the BMJ and The Times into England's CCGs showed that many of them are commissioning services from organisations in which their own board members have an interest.

The study found that CCGs in England have awarded hundreds of contracts worth at least £2.4 billion to organisations in which there board members have a financial interest.

These findings follow a previous investigation by the BMJ in April 2013 which found that more than a third of GPs on the boards of CCGs had a conflict of interest resulting from directorships or shares held in private companies.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG awarded a contract worth £700 to £800 million over five years - for the provision of older peoples' services. Private companies were initially interested in the contract, including Circle, Virgin Care and Capita. However these companies withdrew, reportedly due to the steep financial inefficiences.

Eventually in November 2014 Uniting Care Partnership, a consortium of NHS organisations was awarded the contract. The contract began in April 2015, but just eight months later Uniting Care Partnership announced that it was handing back the contract as it was not financially viable.

The Public Accounts Committee published a damning report describing the handling of the contract as a "catalogue of failures".

CCGs in Staffordshire

In April 2017, CCGs in Staffordshire finally abandoned the procurement of a ten year contract for cancer and end-of-life services worth £687 million. The whole process began in 2013 and has cost the four CCGs over £840,000.

The tender process was paused in 2015 following the collapse of the UnitingCare Partnership contract in Cambridge and Peterborough. However, after restarting several months later in November 2016, a single bidder emerged.

The bidder was a consortium of Interserve and two hospital trusts. Speaking on behalf of the CCGs, Andy Donald, chief officer of Stafford and Cannock Chase CCGs, said: "The remaining bidder couldn't convince us they could deliver with the resources available."

Coastal West Sussex CCG

In September 2014 Coastal West Sussex CCG awarded the contract to BUPA and social enterprise CSH Surrey. However, pressure from the public and Western Sussex Hospitals Trust, forced the CCG to employ an auditor to assess the effect the contract would have on other NHS services in the area.

The auditors concluded that the cumulative impact of loss of MSK services would result in the trust falling into deficit over the next five years.

Western Sussex Hospitals also warned that the loss of the contract could destabilise its trauma services. BUPE and CH Surrey withdrew from the process prior to the signing of the final contract.

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