Labour backs real budgets to revitalise PBC

An idea to revitalise practice-based commissioning (PBC) by allowing groups of practices to hold real budgets has been welcomed by England's health minister Mike O'Brien.

The theme of Mr O’Brien’s speech was that improved quality would result in savings

Speaking at the annual National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) conference in Birmingham on Tuesday Mr O'Brien broadly welcomed the group's manifesto.

It says that PBC success has been limited and that urgent action is needed.

The 14-page document suggests local practices should form community health collaboratives (CHCs), which would be given real budgets.

The patient voice would be heard in the design of services and also how the health dividend, or freed-up resources, is spent.

PCTs would set headline commissioning outcomes for a population and agree contracts with CHCs.

Once practices have delivered the appropriate quality of primary care services they would qualify to become ‘foundation practices'.

Management resources would transfer from PCTs to develop CHCs.

Mr O'Brien said: ‘Foundation practices would have much greater independence to run budgets. I welcome these ideas. I think the NAPC is bringing forward interesting proposals. The government wants to look at this with great care.'

In a speech that was far more party political than his address to the RCGP conference in Glasgow earlier this month, Mr O'Brien sought to outline the differences between Labour and Conservative party policy on the NHS.

Mr O'Brien explained that smaller practices would not be forced into CHCs or to become foundation practices.

He said: ‘Some smaller practices could be broken if forced to manage budgets. Practices would have the choice rather than forcing them as some would do.'

Once again the theme of Mr O'Brien's speech was that improved quality would result in savings, so important as the NHS has identified that £20 billion must be found to maintain services between 2011 and 2014.

Editors' Blog - Revitalising practice-based commissioning is the only dish on the menu   

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Young doctor

BMA poll could see 'demeaning' junior doctor title ditched

The BMA could drop the term 'junior doctor' in favour of 'resident doctor' to better...

Houses of parliament

Tory peer calls PA fears 'Luddism' and claims most GP visits 'incredibly straightforward'

Most GP appointments are 'incredibly straightforward' and fears over a wider role...

UK money

NHS pension contribution overhaul to go ahead from April

Changes to NHS pension contribution rates, which will see the top earners required...

BMA sign

BMA warns £800m lost from GP contract since 2019 as last-ditch talks continue

BMA negotiators remain in talks over an improved GP contract offer for 2024/25 just...

GP consultation

GPs still under pressure to prescribe black triangle drug inclisiran

GPs are continuing to face pressure to prescribe the black triangle drug inclisiran...

BMA chair Professor Phil Banfield

Lords urged to block legislation for GMC to regulate PAs

The BMA has urged peers to block legislation that would make the GMC responsible...