The British Medical Association GPs Committee (GPC) has issued a statement on the development of GP commissioning for the first time since the government White Paper was released.
The statement outlines what the GPC believes should be the main principles underlying the new structure. The GPC said the principles should help to define policy, inform negotiations and debate, and make sure that good medical practice is enshrined within the alterations laid out in the “Liberating the NHS” proposal.
Chair of the GPC, Dr Laurence Buckman, said: “Under the White Paper plans, GPs will be asked to take responsibility, through consortia, of a large proportion of the NHS budget, however their first responsibility should still always be to their patient. If GP commissioning is to work these are the principles that we think all involved should adhere to.”
The GPC’s principles state that GPs must not personally profit from the commissioning budget and freed up resources should be reinvested into patient care.
A contract held by a GP should never be allowed to conflict with their professional responsibilities in providing care for patients, GP consortia should ensure that, wherever possible, NHS providers are the providers of choice and public and patient involvement should be integral to the work of consortia.
Consortia must be committed to reducing healthcare inequality, wherever possible, and a commissioning consortium must be democratically accountable to practices within the consortium and should also act with integrity and leadership when considering the accountability of practices.
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“I think that these proposals are a good start and reflect the need for integrity in the new commissioning arrangements and the need for transparency for commissioners, providers and patients” – Jean Pigott, Brent Adolescent team