The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has recently published its draft code of governance for CCGs (Draft guidance) and is seeking responses to a consultation exercise by tomorrow Friday 26 July. CCGs will be encouraged to adopt the code’s principles in the day-to-day running of their organisations and to include a statement in their annual reports explaining how they have applied the principles set out in the draft code.

The code acknowledges that CCGs are very different from their statutory predecessors and that in reality the CCG is its member practices and that they appoint their governing body members. The code distinguishes between principles that should apply to CCG membership and those that should apply to CCG governing bodies.

As GPs get to grips with their new roles, this code is aimed at supporting them to perform their new statutory duties in a transparent manner and in a way that enables them, as public bodies, to be held to account by their patients and the public. Good governance is key to this, but is a world away from the clinical duties that GPs owe to their patients and the express and implied contractual obligations, including to act in good faith, that they have to their business partners, ie the other members of their GP practices.

If as its suggested all CCGs adopt the new code of governance, this consistency of approach will effectively define what our reasonable expectations should be of both CCGs and their governing bodies.

As mentioned above, views and feedback are being sought from those who work in and with CCGs and have an interest in developing good governance principles for these new organisations. There are 10 specific questions that ICSA would like responders to consider, though no. 10 opens the way for a wide range of general comments. So if you have something to say about the good governance of CCGs, now is your chance, but be quick about it as the consultation closes tomorrow Friday 26 July 2013. You can give your feedback online here - Consultation questions