“Clusters” of primary care trusts will oversee transition to new NHS

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 17 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7286
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

England’s 151 primary care trusts are to be reorganised into fewer, larger “clusters” by next June to help the transition to the restructured NHS outlined in the white paper Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS.

In its operating framework for 2011-12, released on 15 December, the Department of Health says there will be a “managed consolidation” of primary care trusts across all NHS regions before their abolition and replacement by general practice consortiums in 2013.

However, in a letter to the Times, David Martin, a doctor from Newark, points out that “almost buried in the detail” of the framework is a “safety valve clause” that says the clusters “may continue to function beyond …

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