Some consortia will need cash bailouts, MPs told

The NHS Commissioning Board should create a contingency fund to bail out consortia that fail, the King's Fund has said.

Professor Chris Ham: some consortia will 'most certainly fail' (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Professor Chris Ham: some consortia will 'most certainly fail' (Photograph: JH Lancy)

Giving evidence to MPs on the House of Commons public accounts committee, the think tank's chief executive Professor Chris Ham warned there were aspects of commissioning that GPs are 'unlikely to do well'.

Professor Ham said some consortia will be 'better than the best of PCTs, but others will most certainly fail'.

He said: 'If that isn't the case then commissioning consortia will defy the bell curve of performance which all organisations in every sector are affected by.'

Professor Ham said a contingency fund could be put in place to bail out consortia that get into financial difficulties.

He added: 'It's also having a regime to deal with persistent failure, where successful commissioning consortia or others take over the management of those organisations.'

Meanwhile, Professor Ham warned that GPs might struggle with the commissioning of certain services, such as the 'complex service reconfiguration of hospital services in London'.

'They will need a lot of support from the NHS Commissioning Board and its regional offices in dealing with those kinds of issues because they are very, very difficult,' he said.

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