Magazine article Public Finance

Sluggish Start to GP Practice Commissioning

Magazine article Public Finance

Sluggish Start to GP Practice Commissioning

Article excerpt

A flagship government policy aimed at encouraging GPs to shape local NHS services through a beefed-up commissioning role is struggling to take off, the Audit Commission has found.

Practice-based commissioning, where GP practices are given an indicative budget to commission the services they want has had little impact so far.

'The redesign of services and their transfer from secondary to primary care had yet to gather pace,' according to the commission report published on November 22.

It found 'some progress' had been made at the 16 primary care trusts it visited but that practices' engagement with the scheme was variable. 'PBC is largely being led locally by enthusiastic practices working with supportive PCTs,' the report says. 'The quality of the underpinning financial infrastructure was also variable, with many practices unclear how their budgets had been set or how financial risk was to be managed. …

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