Consortia may have to share back-office functions, says NHS chief

The DoH is deciding how much freedom GP consortia will have to organise their own administration systems, according to NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson.

Sir David: the ‘management allowance’ for GP consortia would be less than what PCTs receive per patient

Giving evidence to a Health Select Committee inquiry on the White Paper, Sir David said the DoH's Arms Length Bodies will now share back office functions and GP consortia maybe forced to do the same.   

‘We haven’t made a decision on how much freedom GPs will have. We need to avoid every GP inventing their own back-office,’ he said.

Sir David said the ‘management allowance’ for GP consortia, due to be published in December, would be significantly less than what PCTs receive per patient.

‘Given the amount of money we’re giving them [consortia], given that we’ve reduced management costs by a third, I think they are going to have to look at doing [organising back-office functions] in bigger units.’

Commenting on the progress being made in implementing the reforms, Sir David said PCTs in some areas are already having ‘problems sustaining commissioning capability’ because managers are leaving or working on setting up GP consortia.

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