GP enthusiasm for health White Paper grows

This week's GP newspaper contains the first interview with Dr Clare Gerada as she becomes the first woman to lead the RCGP for more than half a century.

It's a fascinating time to be taking on such a role as we wait for the DoH response to the health White Paper consultation, which closed last month.

So what is the mood music emanating from the DoH? Deadlines for abolishing strategic health authorities and PCTs have been brought forward.

This week GP newspaper also reveals exclusively the results of a survey of GPs conducted with the NHS Alliance, on the eve of the opening of its conference in Bournemouth. Back in July, two-thirds of GPs opposed the White Paper proposals for consortia membership to be compulsory.

Fast forward four months and already more than half of GPs are now either in what they consider a GP consortia or a practice-based commissioning consortia that will become one.

The White Paper may only have a small hardcore of enthusiastic support but that's all that's really needed for consortia to be led and commissioning to start.

There are still problems to be overcome; most GPs want the NHS Commissioning Board to hold GP contracts rather than consortia and most think consortia shouldn't be able to expel practices that underperform.

There is also a concern about the speed of implementation, although the advent of pathfinder status does allow those consortia that are ready to have a go.

The rest have until April 2013 before the last PCT will be abolished.

The mood of GPs seems to have switched from opposition to cautious backing.

GP's recently-launched Commissioning section aims to cater for all. Articles should interest those at the cutting-edge of consortia as well as those new to them.



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