Do governing body and CSU nurses on clinical commissioning groups really lead a nursing agenda? Findings from a 2015 Survey of the Commissioning Nurse Leaders' Network Membership

Mike O'Driscoll, Helen, T. Allan, Gay Lee, Jan Savage, Christine Tapson, Roz Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: This paper reports the findings from a 2015 survey of the Commissioning Nurse Leaders' Network. Our aim was to understand how governing body nurses perceive their influence and leadership on clinical commissioning groups. Methods: An online survey method was used with a census sample of 238 governing body nurses and nurses working in Commissioning Support Units, who were members of the Commissioning Nurse Leaders' Network. The response rate was 40.7% (n = 97). Results: While most governing body nurses felt confident in their leadership role, this was less so for non-executive governing body nurses. Nurses in Commissioning Support Units were much less positive than governing body nurses about their influence on clinical commissioning groups. Conclusion: Governing body nurses were satisfied with their impact on clinical commissioning groups and so could be said to be leading a nursing agenda but this evidence is limited to their own perceptions and more objective or diverse measures of impact are needed. The purpose of such roles to ‘represent nursing, and ensure the patient voice is heard’ may be a flawed aspiration, conflating nursing leadership and patient voice. Implications for nursing management: This is the first study to explore explicitly the differences between executive and non-executive governing body nurses and nurses working in commissioning support units. Achieving clinical commissioning groups' goals, including developing and embedding nursing leadership roles in clinical commissioning groups, may be threatened if the contributions of governing body nurses, and other nurses supporting clinical commissioning groups, go unrecognised within the profession, or if general practitioners or other clinical commissioning group executive members dominate decision-making on clinical commissioning groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018


  • clinical commissioning groups
  • commissioning support units
  • governing body nurses
  • nurse leadership

Cite this