DoH deal to stop GPs inheriting debts

A deal to ensure GPs are not saddled with the full weight of PCT debts appears to be under development by ministers, GP understands.

Jim Easton: ministers want to give consortia the best possible start (Photograph: J Heath Lancy)
Jim Easton: ministers want to give consortia the best possible start (Photograph: J Heath Lancy)

Ministers have also announced plans to adjust the tariff for NHS services, allowing GP consortia to drive down the cost of buying these services.

Jim Easton, England's national director for improvement and efficiency, spoke about the changes at the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth last week.

He said the DoH was trying to find the right balance between not saddling consortia with PCT debts and not pretending such legacies do not exist.

He said government thinking was going in GPs' favour. 'The secretary of state is deeply minded about giving you best start he can,' he said. 'The wind is going in your direction.'

But he also said GPs should share some responsibility for the creation of the debts.

'Some of them, you might feel, were completely out of your control' he said. 'But some of them are related to behaviours going on in your part of the world and it would be wrong to pretend that's not the case.'

Health minister Lord Howe acknowledged at the conference many GPs' concerns that consortia may inherit debts.

But he said: 'We are working with SHAs to straighten this out and we will be saying more about this in the new operating framework when it comes out later this year.'

Lord Howe also announced that economic regulator Monitor will set maximum tariffs for NHS services in the future to drive up competition and productivity.

Dr David Jenner, PMS/GMS lead at the NHS Alliance, said the move would allow PCTs and GP consortia to budget better and control costs.

'In areas with one large provider PCTs and GP consortia could feasibly negotiate a discount for bulk,' he said.

Mr Easton also said the tariff is set to be reformed to incentivise service provision in primary care.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

How digital assistants can help patients manage their health and wellbeing

How digital assistants can help patients manage their health and wellbeing

A project in Staffordshire has shown how practices can make use of digital technology...

Fair death-in-service deal for locums vital before second COVID-19 wave, warns BMA

Fair death-in-service deal for locums vital before second COVID-19 wave, warns BMA

The government must do ‘the right thing’ and secure adequate death-in-service benefits...

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP practices are being contacted by patients asking for antibody tests as the government...

Top GP spells out actions to protect BAME staff after PHE review fails to offer solutions

Top GP spells out actions to protect BAME staff after PHE review fails to offer solutions

The BMA's top GP has spelled out the advice and support practices need to protect...

GP time per patient slumps to lowest level in half a decade

GP time per patient slumps to lowest level in half a decade

GP time available per patient has dropped by six and a half minutes since 2015 -...

An uncompromising defender of the NHS: colleagues remember Dr Ron Singer

An uncompromising defender of the NHS: colleagues remember Dr Ron Singer

Colleagues and friends have paid tribute after the death of East London GP Dr Ron...