GP consortia could commission enhanced services, says DoH expert

GP consortia could take over commissioning of enhanced services, the DoH director of primary care has suggested.

Ben Dyson told a King’s Fund event on commissioning that processes for procuring enhanced services may not be as stringent as for other commissioned services. 

Mr Dyson said: ‘At the moment there is system by which PCTs can commission enhanced services.

‘Might there be circumstances where consortia could commission those sorts of services from practices without having to go through quite the same steps that they would go through if they were commissioning a service which self-evidently could be provided by any suitable provider?’

Meanwhile, Mr Dyson said the NHS should move away from a system that asks commissioning organisations to ‘jump through lots of hoops’ before they are given permission to buy services.

He said:  ‘We should try to devise a system that sets out what the rules are, gives consortia all the support they can be given in terms of guidance to enable them to live within those rules, allows them to make decisions and then intervenes if there is evidence that those rules have been broken.

He said transparency should be the ‘hallmark’ of commissioning decisions to ensure commissioning does not become too bureaucratic.

Mr Dyson said: ‘Without that transparency I think it will increase the cause for people to build in lots of those controls that take place before commissioning is done.’

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