GPs required to form consortia by 2012

By 2012 all GP practices will be expected to be part of a consortium and held to account on their contribution to the group's commissioning performance.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley told a media briefing at the DoH that he was ‘not going to get into the carrot’ that would incentivise GPs to commission but spoke of ‘management fees’ separate from practice income.

A new NHS commissioning board will oversee decisions and intervene where GP consortia are failing.

Mr Lansley confirmed it will not be possible ‘to profit from surplus’ nor will GPs be personally liable for losses.

The new commissioning board will allocate practice-level budgets which will be pooled by the consortium.

Mr Lansley also announced practices will move towards a single model of GP contract and funding.

Where practices choose to provide services outside their core contracts, those services will be commissioned directly by the new commissioning board.

Payment by Results is likely to spread throughout community services and primary care, said Mr Lansley.

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