Community-based health services may not save cash

Moving care into the community will not necessarily save money, according to the head of a leading practice-based commissioning (PBC) group.

The DoH claims that the policy, outlined in the 2006 White Paper 'Our Health, Our Care, Our Say', will cut the costs of NHS services.

But Dr Shane Gordon, GP and chief executive of the Colchester PBC group, and a contributor to the Darzi review of the NHS, said the policy would probably allow hospitals to develop more expensive specialist services.

‘I'm hesitant to talk about savings, because health isn't a closed system,' said Dr Gordon.

‘It's a fallacy that moving high-volume, low-risk procedures into the community would make hospitals redundant. 

‘It would give them the capacity to build up more sophisticated services.'

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