PCT debts should be passed to GP consortia, NHS Confederation says

PCT deficits should be passed to GP consortia to incentivise GPs to make difficult decisions, the NHS Confederation says.

David Stout: PCTs’ debts cannot just be written off
David Stout: PCTs’ debts cannot just be written off

Speaking at the Primary Healthcare Live event in London, the confederation's PCT network lead David Stout said PCTs’ debts cannot ‘just be written off’.

He said one way of managing the debts is to top-slice GP consortia funding allocations, but he acknowledged this will ‘breed ill-feeling’ between GPs.

‘This option has the downside of penalising the areas that didn’t cause the debt and they get very cross,' he said.

‘This is kind of how PCTs have tended to work, so we have tended to have top-slicing across regions to deal with inherited debt. But it breads ill-feeling. I think there will be much more intensive ill-feeling between GPs than there has been for PCTs, by and large.’

Mr Stout said his ‘preferred option’ for managing PCT deficits is to transfer the debts over to local GP consortia. He acknowledged that this would be ‘unpopular’ with GPs, but he said ‘I can’t see that there is any other option’.

He added: ‘My rationale for saying GP consortia should inherit the debt is because if they don’t they have no incentive to engage in difficult decision making over this next two year period.
 
‘GP consortia are the successor bodies to the existing bodies and they now have part to play in resolving financial difficulties’.

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