Here are some of the main points from the Legislative Framework and Next Steps document:
- The accountable officer of a GP consortium does not have to be a clinician.
- Membership of consortia will ‘flex rather than be fixed forever, with consortia able to expand, contract, dissolve or merge.’
- There will be no minimum or maximum size of consortia; but the NHS Commissioning Board must be satisfied a consortium’s size is appropriate.
- Each GP practice will nominate a clinician to represent it on the consortium.
- A ‘small minority’ of consortia will not be ready in time for the 2013 deadline – in which case the NHS Commissioning Board will commission services in those areas until GPs are ready.
- Only a small ‘sub-set’ of consortia’s commissioning outcomes targets will be rewarded by ‘quality premiums’.
- The NHS Commissioning Board will only have the power to intervene in consortia’s decision-making where there is evidence that consortia are failing or are likely to fail to fulfil their functions.
- The NHS Commissioning Board will have the powers to establish and maintain a risk pool with consortia
- The NHS Commissioning Board’s main office will be in Leeds, but also ‘representation at a range of locations to be decided.’
More details on each of these points will be updated soon. The Operating Framework will give details about PCT debts and consortia funding later in this afternoon.
The DoH has also announced that NHS budget allocations to PCTs will rise by an average of 3% for 2011/12 across England.