Access team to promote commissioning take-up

The DoH has turned to the team behind advanced access to roll out practice-based commissioning across England.

The National Primary Care Development Team (NPDT) aims to run pilots in each SHA area, monitored and aided by 11 local NPDT centres.

Each of the 28 SHAs will have a pilot involving one PCT and up to five practices, participating either as individuals or in a cluster.

These pilots will develop practice-based commissioning projects in areas already involved in the scheme.

In each pilot the NPDT will establish a 'parallel learning process', which will allow any NHS organisation to engage in web casts, simulation events and learning exchanges.

A preparatory period, to ensure the PCTs and practices have their data and finance structure in place, will then be followed by an assessment by PCTs using a framework available from

Finally, it wants a 'collaborative process', to engage local clinicians in the day-to-day running of practice-based commissioning as a means of improving services.

After the pilots are established, a second wave will see NPDT centres working with SHAs and attempt to recruit the remaining PCTs in the country.

It is hoped that by the end of a third wave all PCTs will have been offered an opportunity to take part.

The NPDT expects all PCTs to be involved with the programme by August 2006.

NPDT head Sir John Oldham said the organisation was ideally placed to help the roll-out.

'NPDT has the infrastructure through its local centres, as well as the relevant experience, to deliver support for the rapid, large-scale system change needed that will result in practice-based commissioning becoming a reality for all practices,' he said.

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