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Entire NHS commissioning system may need to be scrapped, MPs say

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1792 (Published 30 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1792
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

    Commissioning in the NHS in England has been a 20 year long “costly failure” and may need to be scrapped, MPs have concluded.

    After its recent inquiry the parliamentary health select committee published a highly critical report on commissioning on 30 March. The report gives its verdict of almost two decades of NHS commissioning in England since purchasers and providers were split in 1991.

    The MPs said that primary care trusts were not commissioning effectively, were too passive, and lacked the clinical knowledge and other skills to challenge hospitals over the provision of services.

    Frequent reorganisations in the NHS and a high turnover of staff had worsened the situation, they said.

    The committee questioned whether the government’s “world class commissioning” initiative, designed to improve the quality of …

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