Consortia costs must not be underestimated

GP consortia could be forced to operate with management budgets 10 times smaller than similar organisations overseas, the King's Fund chief executive has warned.

Professor Ham said there should be enough funding to bring in the right people
Professor Ham said there should be enough funding to bring in the right people

Speaking at an event on GP commissioning run by the think tank, Professor Chris Ham said management funding must be sufficient for consortia to bring in the people and skills for effective commissioning.

‘If it is going to be around £10 per head, will that be enough when you look at how much is being spent to support medical groups and other similar examples in other countries?’ Professor Ham asked.

He said organisations in parts of the US receive as much as £120 per patient to cover management costs, although this was a ‘ball-park estimate’, and the figures were not directly comparable.

Professor Ham set out a list of other factors that should be considered when setting up consortia.
GPs should carefully consider the appropriate size of consortia, he said. ‘Scale is necessary when it comes to managing risk. But some of the evidence around total purchasing shows that the larger groups were often less effective.

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