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BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 06 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1274

GPC advises on becoming a primary care trust

The General Practitioners Committee is advising GPs that because of the magnitude of the consequences of changing from primary care group (PCG) to trust status “a substantial majority of GPs must be in favour for the proposal to have support.” In guidance to local medical committees the GPC suggests that at least two thirds of the GPs voting should be in favour and that 80% of GPs eligible to vote should have done so.

The paper sets out a series of questions which should be asked. For example, what level of trust is proposed. A level 3 trust will be able to commission hospital and community health services and employ community staff. A level 4 trust will in addition have a role as a provider of services and be able to own NHS property. If a trust took over a community hospital or provided laboratory or radiology services the local acute trust might be destabilised.

A move to trust status will have marked implications for resource allocation, for the proposed trust and for any remaining health authority managed services, including PCGs. …

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