GPs still holding back from PBC

The majority of practices have still never commissioned a service using practice-based commissioning (PBC), a DoH survey has revealed.

Figures from the first quarter of 2008 show that although the scheme is slowly gaining support, 51 per cent of practices have never directly commissioned a service through PBC.

The survey of sample practices from each PCT in England revealed that while 57 per cent of practices have now agreed a commissioning plan, only 41 per cent have begun to commission services.

Dr Michael Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance, said there had been no significant change since the first PBC survey last year. PBC was effectively being 'sabotaged' by a lack of accurate information about local populations, he said, calling for 'firm action to put it right'.

Despite 56 per cent of GPs supporting the concept of PBC, just 16 per cent believe it has improved patient care so far.

Ipsos MORI compiled the report for the DoH from 1,998 responses to postal and telephone surveys.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

PBC report

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