Flexible timetable for GP consortia needed, says NHS Confederation

A flexible timetable is needed for GP consortia taking on commissioning responsibility, the NHS Confederation has said.

Dr Farrar: a ‘staggered approach’ is needed.
Dr Farrar: a ‘staggered approach’ is needed.

In a submission to the government’s ‘listening exercise’, the NHS Confederation said the government’s reform proposals should be ‘significantly overhauled’ to focus more closely on the challenges the NHS faces.

It said consortia could take a ‘staggered approach’ to taking on full responsibility with other NHS bodies overseeing commissioning in places where consortia are not ready.

This would reduce the risks involved with reorganising the NHS at a time when £20bn efficiency savings need to be made, it said.

Overall, the NHS Confederation said it strongly backed the idea of health service reform.  

But it said the proposed changes were not sufficiently focused on the challenges in the NHS, such as the financial pressures and the need to better integrate services for patients.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: ‘We are absolutely in favour of reform because it is crystal clear that we cannot go on as we are.  

‘But we are determined to do more to ensure the NHS concentrates its fire power on the issues that will make a difference to patients – getting better value for the taxpayer, treating people with dignity and closing the gaps between services.’

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