Health secretary Andrew Lansley warned that the government would not bail out commissioners that failed.
He also confirmed that PCTs would cease to exist in 2013 and that SHAs would be replaced by 2012/13.
The key highlights of the document, entitled Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, are listed below:
- The government will devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to GPs and practice teams working in consortia.
- Every GP will be a member of a 'shadow' consortium by 2011/12.
- Consortia will start taking on duties from 2012/13 and full financial responsibility from April 2013.
- Management allowances will be available to help fund commissioning.
- An independent and accountable NHS commissioning board will allocate and account for NHS resources.
- NHS commissioning board will calculate practice-level budgets and allocate these directly to consortia and will hold practices to account.
- GP consortia will include an accountable officer.
- Each consortium will hold its constituent practices to account.
- GP consortia will agree local priorities each year, taking account of the NHS Outcomes Framework.
- GPs will need to engage patients and the public in the commissioning process.
- Over time the DoH will seek to establish a single GP contract and funding model.
- PCTs and SHAs will be phased out.
- Patients will be able to choose which GP practice they register with regardless of where they live.
- The current performance regime will be replaced with separate frameworks for public health and social care.
- A new NHS Outcomes Framework will provide the direction for the NHS.
- The government will incentivise ways of improving access to primary care in disadvantaged area
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