GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the ‘worst thing’ that could happen would be for good PCT managers to go to the private sector causing GP commissioning groups to have to buy them in at ‘great expense’.
‘We need good managers,' he said. 'PCTs need to remain whole bodies for the moment, and GPs, where relations have not been good, have to resist the temptation to do things to PCT management. I think that would be quite wrong.’
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul added that most GPs want managers that can support them in the commissioning process. ‘This is not a time where GPs are wanting to get even with their PCTs,' he said.
'It’s a time when they will want to productively identify and work with their PCTs to ensure that the appropriate managers who have the appropriate skills can be absorbed into the new commissioning arrangements.
‘This is a challenge and opportunity for many GPs to work more closely with PCTs to end-up with structures that are meaningful, appropriate and fit for purpose.’
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey warned against the re-creation of ‘mini-PCTs’ after PCTs are abolished in 2013. ‘That would bring together all levels of bureaucracy that actually the government has already identified hasn’t worked in the past and is no longer necessary,' he said.