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Government launches consultation on GP commissioning consortia

22 July 2010

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Following the launch of the white paper announcing plans for GPs to hold £80bn of NHS budgets by 2013, the government has launched a public consultation seeking views from the public, health professionals and anyone else with an interest in local health issues.

Commissioning for Patients, one of two consultations launched today (22 July 2010), sets out proposals to put GP consortia in charge of commissioning services that best meet the needs of local people, supported by an independent NHS Commissioning Board.

It asks for views on a number of areas, including:

  • How GP consortia and the NHS Commissioning Board can best involve patients in improving the quality of health services.
  • How GP consortia can work closely with secondary care, community partners and other health and care professionals to design joined-up services that are responsive to patients and the public.
  • How the NHS Commissioning Board and GP consortia can best work together to ensure a national framework that supports consortia in making effective and efficient commissioning decisions.
  • How the NHS Commissioning Board can best support consortia and hold them to account for the outcomes they achieve and their stewardship of NHS resources.

Mr Lansley said: “Everyone should have their say in these consultations so we can get on with building strong local partnerships and improve people’s health.”

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA Chairman, said: “This document provides more detail about the government’s plans for GP commissioning, but there are still many questions that need answering.

“The proposals contain both opportunities and threats and we will be actively engaging with the consultation process to explore this in great detail and to ensure our members’ views are taken on board. We will also be publishing our own proposals for how GP commissioning could be made to work.

“This is a challenging agenda, but the BMA is committed to try to find workable solutions that will fully engage both primary and secondary care doctors and the public so that by working in partnership they can achieve the best outcomes for patients.”

Department of Health