Fears over community service reform

PCTs may make poor decisions about the future of community health services as they rush to hit a DoH deadline for getting rid of their provider arms, the NHS Confederation fears.

David Stout: significant changes (Photograph: NHS Confederation)
David Stout: significant changes (Photograph: NHS Confederation)

Some PCTs will miss the April 2011 deadline for transferring their provider arms, it warned last week.

PCTs that have not already decided on future options for their provider arms will not be able to transfer them in the next six months, the confederation warned. It said PCTs may be making decisions to fit the tight timetable, rather than making the right decision.

In a briefing paper on community services reforms, the NHS Confederation also said the 'any willing provider' policy may disrupt newly established or merged community services.

It added that IT systems used by community services may not work with systems in trusts they are transferred to and that GP commissioning presents a further challenge.

It said: 'Community services staff have a complex relationship with GPs. Many practices consider community frontline staff as "theirs" and will want to have a say in any proposed changes to current arrangements.'

Meanwhile, the NHS Confederation also warned that transferring services to other NHS providers or converting them into social enterprises without transforming how they work is a waste of time, effort and 'considerable resources'.

David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's PCT Network, said: 'We must not forget that in the midst of these changes, NHS organisations still need to make significant savings. These services must be able to truly transform the way patients receive care while at the same time doing more for less money. If this is not achieved on a broad scale, all we will have is another expensive reorganisation of services.'

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

Shielded patients and care home residents to receive free vitamin D

Shielded patients and care home residents to receive free vitamin D

Patients on the shielding list and care homes are to be provided with free vitamin...

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs have called for a renegotiation of funding for the COVID-19 vaccination enhanced...

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs have demanded a ballot of GPs on the primary care network (PCN) DES before BMA...

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Locum GPs have faced significant physical and financial risk because of a lack of...

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs have called on NHS England to apologise for ‘abhorrent and insulting’ suggestions...

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs could be stripped of their commissioning role under plans set out by NHS England,...