NHS Alliance: Consortia will need help from more developed areas

The NHS must find better ways to spread good commissioning across the country, claims a new NHS Alliance report.

Based on a meeting of clinicians, PCT managers and commissioning leads from across England, the alliance concluded that there are pockets of excellent commissioning developing. But in other areas GPs lack support and are not convinced of the benefits of clinical commissioning.

GPs do not yet know how to make crucial relationships with acute trusts work, or how hospital colleagues can be incentivised to work with consortia, the report says.

The discussions also reveal that as well as concerns about the best PCT managers leaving the health service, GPs fear being ‘stuck with mediocre PCT managers’. The report says 'better ways of sharing learning need to be found to accelerate change.'

It also advises GPs to look for support in other areas if the relationship with their PCT is unproductive. ‘Where local relations… have gone sour, look across traditional boundaries for relationships and support.’

Delegates at the meeting, held in London in November, said the biggest savings were to be made in ‘controversial’ areas, like urgent care, which would require ‘courage and honesty.

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