Magazine article Public Finance

GPs Give Thumbs-Down to Commissioning Policy

Magazine article Public Finance

GPs Give Thumbs-Down to Commissioning Policy

Article excerpt

A flagship government health policy designed to get GPs involved in the design of NHS services is failing to improve patient care, many family doctors believe.

The Department of Health survey of GP attitudes to practice-based commissioning, published on October 29, found doctors believed that they were not getting enough support from NHS primary care trust managers.

Almost a third, 31%, said PBC had not improved patient care, while a further 37% said it was too early to tell. But the majority, 57%, said they still supported the policy.

The policy gives indicative budgets to practices and groups of GPs, enabling them to decide what services should be provided across the NHS. Yet three-quarters of doctors said these budgets had not changed how their practice operated 'very much' or at all'.

Most practices, 60%, had not commissioned new services such as hospital clinics as a result of PBC. Doctors were also scathing of the support given to them by PCT managers - 51% rated it as 'poor'. …

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