I HAVE to confess I don't know much about Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

They are just sort of there in the background, aren't they?

Apparently they were created following the Health and Social Care Act in 2012, and replaced Primary Care Trusts in 2013.

According to the nhscc.org website, they are 'clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area'.

The website says: "Commissioning is about getting the best possible health outcomes for the local population.

"This involves assessing local needs, deciding priorities and strategies and then buying services on behalf of the population from providers such as hospitals, clinics, community health bodies, etc.

"It is an ongoing process. CCGs must constantly respond and adapt to changing local circumstances. They are responsible for the health of their entire population, and measured by how much they improve outcomes."

Well that sounds OK, doesn't it? Local GPs deciding what the greatest health needs of the area are and allocating money accordingly.

And we are talking big bucks here. CCGs are responsible for approximately two thirds of the total NHS England budget, a whopping £75.6 billion in 2018/19.

They are responsible for commissioning healthcare including mental health services, urgent and emergency care, elective hospital services, and community care.

So that's quite a responsibility. It must weigh heavy having to take into account the health of all those patients and determining how to spend all that money.

One could reasonably expect that quiet, serious decisions would be made with the minimum of fuss behind the scenes for the good of the people of Warrington.

What do we make then of the unseemly difficulties Warrington's CCG is currently playing out in public?

We have had a letter of concern signed by representatives from 16 of 24 of the town’s GP practices stating they have ‘lost all confidence’ in the leadership of NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group.

Added to that the dissenting surgeries calling for greater accountability in the CCG's decision-making processes; a doctor being dismissed from his governing body post due to a conflict of interest; two doctors resigning from the CCG; allegations of actions 'inappropriate and unbecoming of clinical leadership and most recently the resignation of NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Dr Dan Bunstone with yet another 'conflict of interest'. (Seems to be a lot of 'conflict of interest' going on, doesn't there.

Sadly, I don't think we will ever really get to the bottom of what's gone on with our CCG. The phrase "Due to the confidential nature and following legal advice, we are unable to comment further,” will effectively see to that.

It's all a bit of an unseemly mess really and I believe the people or Warrington deserve better.

This isn't some playground spat – this is people's lives and health being squabbled over and it is simply not good enough.

My message to the GPs of Warrington is quite simple: Sort it out and sort it out quickly.

Just as a little footnote to this, I notice that my GP practice is one of the signatories of the 'letter of concern'.

It just so happens that my practice has come very near the bottom of the recent patient satisfaction survey, and not for the first time.

If only it would put as much energy in sorting out its useless appointments system as it appears to have put into complaining about the CCG we would all be a little happier.

I notice our very own Prof Steven Broomhead, the council's chief executive, has been taken over as head of the National Libraries Taskforce.

When he was appointed he told the Guardian: “I’m looking forward to sharing ideas, insight and best practice with the group, as well as using the opportunity to promote the good work Warrington Borough Council is doing to create a sustainable future for its libraries service.”

I wonder if he will be giving his new chums from around the country a tour of the town's libraries.

I just hope he doesn't show them some of our more dilapidated ones, the ones with peeling paint, faded decor and rotten wood.

That would just be embarrassing and probably not a good example of 'best practice'.

By the way, when can we expect to see the £1,000,000 the council promised us to repair our libraries being spent?