GPs bid for commissioning pathfinder status

GPs across England are bidding to join the DoH pathfinder programme to accelerate the transfer of commissioning responsibility from PCTs.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley announced plans to introduce pathfinder schemes last month. He invited GP consortia to bid to become early adopters and take on real budgets early next year.

GPs in Merseyside and London have expressed an interest in becoming pathfinder organisations.

Most of the eight consortia across Merseyside that met with Andrew Lansley last week said they were applying for pathfinder status.

Martin Breach, a GP in Haydock, Merseyside, said: 'We are lucky to have a large number of very-well managed consortia that are ready to take up the baton and move forward.'

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for NHS Hounslow said the PCT had been approached by local GPs who want to become a pathfinder organisation. 

She said: 'It is important to note that there is an application process for the pathfinder programme and this will be made available in the coming weeks.'

A spokesman for the DoH said that the department will announce the first consortia to be granted pathfinder status next month.

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