Primary care trusts should relinquish budgets to GPs right away, say NHS chiefs

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 29 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3487
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1Liverpool

    Primary care trusts in England should start devolving commissioning to family doctors straight away, despite widespread uncertainty about transition arrangements and concern about a lack of accountability and relevant competencies among GPs.

    NHS chiefs issued the call to action last week in Liverpool at the annual conference of the NHS Confederation, which represents most NHS trusts, on the grounds that GP commissioning is likely to take some considerable time to set up.

    The policy, which will see hundreds of GP consortiums taking on some £80bn (€100bn; $120bn) of the total NHS budget and all but around 4% of commissioned care, is set to roll out in April 2012, when strategic health authorities will also have been dissolved.

    Nigel Edwards, the confederation’s acting chief executive, said, “One thing …

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