Clinical commissioning groups are being bypassed as an “overwhelming” number of rules and regulations about the new NHS are produced, according to a group that aims to represent CCGs.

NHS Clinical Commissioners, a joint initiative from the NHS Alliance, NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care, argued this week that important commitments were being made that would affect CCGs’ ability to plan care in line with their local priorities without their full involvement.

Dr Charles Alessi, NHSCC interim chair, said: “There are an overwhelming number of rules and regulations being produced at speed, rules and regulations that will have significant impact on commissioners. So it is essential they have the opportunity to help design and influence them.”

Dr Alessi said the development needed to be by co-design and not “from on high” and argued that CCGs needed time and space to be engaged in shaping the commissioning system of the future while they face “extremely challenging times.”

The NHSCC said it wanted the NHS Commissioning Board to use the transitional arrangements as an opportunity to strengthen rather than undermine the infrastructure needed to deliver day-to-day commissioning responsibilities and said the raft of decisions currently being taken was causing distraction.

Dr Michael Dixon, interim president of the NHSCC, added: “We are calling on the national bodies to work with us to a proper timetable to get the key rules and commitments produced and to halt the by-passing of CCG views.”

Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation and a NHSCC steering group member, said CCGs should not feel pushed into making speedy decisions without being given the opportunity to consider the full range of options available to help them transform local services, improve value for money and secure the future of the NHS.

He added: “We are currently working with CCGs on these very issues and aim to set out their views on the new system in the autumn.”

The NHSCC is a membership service which aims to provide CCGs with a collective voice.

It said it was taking views from its members on the implications of the NHS Commissioning Board’s draft mandate and on wider sector regulation and that those views would be put forward to the Department of Health later in the year.