NHS reform must accelerate, says NHS Alliance

The government should accelerate the timetable for handing GPs commissioning responsibility in areas where consortia are ready, the NHS Alliance has said.

Dr Michael Dixon: delay in the parliamentary process of the Health Bill must not lead to delays on the ground
Dr Michael Dixon: delay in the parliamentary process of the Health Bill must not lead to delays on the ground
NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said delay in the parliamentary process of the Health Bill must not lead to delays on the ground.

He said the government must not waste the enthusiasm of ‘dozens’ of GP consortia that are ready and willing to take on increasing responsibility for commissioning.

‘We don’t want to impose change on areas where the consortia are not yet ready,’ he said. ‘But if the whole convoy waits for the slowest ship, we will all be sunk.

‘We are raring to go. If the NHS is to deliver greater efficiency, better health outcomes and more patient satisfaction, we have no time to lose.’

The NHS Alliance has launched a report highlighting the benefits of GP commissioning. Making It Better said GPs are an ideal position to take a ‘holistic view’ of the healthcare needs of the whole community and commission service accordingly.

It added that GPs will be more successful at encouraging GPs to improve performance than PCT managers.

In the report, Dr Dixon also urged the government to cut through the red tape that has undermined previous reforms.

He said the primary role of the NHS Commissioning Board and Monitor should therefore be to support GP commissioners, rather than control them.

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