GPC accuses PCTs over consortia interference

The GPC has accused PCTs and SHAs of interfering with the leadership and functions of shadow and fledgling consortia without a legal mandate to do so.

Dr Buckman: PCTs should not dictate responsibilities to consortia before the White Paper goes through Parliament
Dr Buckman: PCTs should not dictate responsibilities to consortia before the White Paper goes through Parliament

PCTs have been dictating responsibilities to new consortia despite no parliamentary decision on the functions they will inherit, the GPC revealed.

Others have been instructing GPs who will run their consortia and which practices can be members. Although not widespread, the issue has elicited a strong reaction from the GPC.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said PCTs should not dictate responsibilities to consortia before the White Paper goes through Parliament, after which the final function list will be issued.

‘Until we know, it’s really misleading of PCTs to tell groups of GPs what they should and should not do,' he said. ‘GPs should not feel the need to comply.’

The GPC said it expects the pot of funds transferred to consortia to remain the same, but the list of functions may vary greatly.

Meanwhile, the committee said it is up to local GPs to democratically elect competent leaders of consortia. It warned it would be 'foolhardy' for leaders of existing consortia to assume they had the consent of their peers without asking.

NHS White Paper 2010 - news and analysis

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