GP consortia will need £10 per patient for management

GP consortia should receive £10 per patient for management costs, the House of Commons' Health Committee has been told by management consultants.

Kingsley Manning, business development director for health at management consultants Tribal, said it was important that support systems were adquately resourced.

In response to a question at the committee’s fourth session on commissioning on how much an appropriate management allowance might be, he said: ‘I would say £10 rather than £5.’

Too much money would result in a perverse incentive to run dysfunctional administration systems, he said.

But too little could have dire consequences, warned Mr Manning.

GP consortia may raid their commissioning budget to fund their support systems, he said.

Alan Downey, UK head of the public sector at KPMG, said the government’s aim was to make consorita ‘entrepreneurial and innovative’.

‘Anyone who’s worked with PCTs would say that there’s a great deal of money wasted,’ he said.

But he also criticised the government’s handling of PCTs in its decision to scrap the organisations.

‘We have this situation of saying to PCTs, "We want to abolish you but not yet". I’m not sure many private sector organisations would have approached it in the same way,’ said Mr Downey.

Acting chief executive of the NHS Confederation Nigel Edwards said ‘a trick had been misssed’ by the DoH who should have given GPs more power in the new NHS structure.

Mr Edwards said the ability of GP consortia to directly influence general practice would be as important as influencing secondary care.

In response to a question about whether the NHS was trying to push through changes too quickly, Mr Edwards said he believed speediness was the right approach.

‘The advantage of going fast is that the NHS can give certainty to those who they want to keep and those they don’t so they can focus on the job rather than the future.

‘It also signals to GP consortia that people are serious,’ he said.

The NHS tended to implement changes quickly because staff begin to anticipate a different way of working and react accordingly, said Mr Edwards.

‘A national slowing down would create more problems than it solved,’ he added.

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