Magazine article Public Finance

PCTs Will Keep Central Role, Minister Promises

Magazine article Public Finance

PCTs Will Keep Central Role, Minister Promises

Article excerpt

Primary care trusts will continue to play a central role in local health economies, the minister for NHS delivery Lord Warner insisted this week.

He said their roles would consist of supervising practice-based commissioning, supporting new independent providers and managing patient demand.

Warner was speaking at an NHS Confederation conference as speculation continued over the future of PCTs once GP commissioning begins next year, and the trusts' provider functions are outsourced.

'It is [the PCT s] job to ensure that the range and scale of primary care itself is adequate, and if it's insufficient, to increase primary care capacity, bringing in new providers as necessary,' said Warner.

He added that PCTs should be 'bold about using social entrepreneurs, from the public, voluntary and private sector, if those people offer patients more appropriate services and better outcomes for their needs'.

The Department of Health said it was unable to clarify if that stretched to PCTs seed-funding new private sector providers, because legal action by the Royal College of Nursing prevented it discussing the reform in detail. …

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