Speaking to an NHS Alliance commissioning workshop in London, Dame Barbara said a new funding allocation would be announced soon which would ‘move gently’ until it was ‘somewhat different to what it looks like now.’
Responding to questions from the floor on how much consortia would receive in management fees, Dame Barbara said: ‘The consortia will get their budget and there will be a limit on how much can be spent on management. It will reflect the cost of management but also the desire to reduce them.'
Health secretary Andrew Lansley has pledged to reduce NHS management costs by up to 45%.
Dame Barbara told the audience of consortia members and PCT managers that it 'really is up to you' how the size, accountability and governance arrangements of consortia are developed in each locality.
'There is something you need to take into account,' she said. 'The NHS is going through a reduction in management costs, and consortia will have a pretty broad range of duties. Small consortia will have to find a way of discharging those back office functions [by sharing with other consortia].'
Delegates at the conference called for details of funding to be announced so consortia could begin planning their size and structure.