Exclusive: GPs and practice managers split on health White Paper

GPs and practice managers are split on whether general practice should take on commissioning, early responses to a GP newspaper poll show.


A majority of practice managers appear to support plans set out on Monday in the White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' to transfer commissioning powers to GPs.

But most GPs were against the plans, according to early results of our poll.

One GP said: ‘We are simply neither equipped nor trained to do this. It takes time away from patients. What is wrong with the PCTs actually doing the job they were set up for?’

Despite overall opposition, a significant minority of GPs seem keen to take on a commissioning role. One pro-commissioning GP wrote: ‘GPs can commission services a whole lot better than PCT managers. PCT mangers just pay out what the providers bill them for. They have no clue if the services have been provided or not, let alone measure the quality of the services. Many such expenses are wasteful at best and bordering on fraud at worst.’

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said most GPs would not have chosen to be involved with commissioning.

But he believed ‘a majority of GPs would be willing to be involved to a greater or lesser extent’.

He added that given a choice between having PCTs continue to commission services or taking on the role themselves, many GPs would say: ‘I can’t be any worse and I might be better.’

Editors' blog: White Paper is Lansley's 'Do or Die' challenge to GPs

News blog: Bunker down, the White Paper's here


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