NHS chief gets GP commissioning transition under way

There is a 'significant risk' that quality and financial control will slip during the transition to GP commissioning set out by the health White Paper, the NHS's chief executive, Sir David Nicholson (pictured), has warned.

Following the publication of the health White Paper Liberating the NHS, Sir David has written to senior NHS staff to set out 'actions that we need to start now’ to deliver the ‘rapid’ timetable of reform.

Former GP Dame Barbara Hakin has been appointed NHS managing director of commissioning development and will help 'the clinical and managerial community engage’ and drive the reforms.

Sir David spoke of the need to work with ‘prospective new leaders in primary care’ and to encourage clinicians across the NHS to get involved.

His letter reminds managers that they must not lose sight of the need to find £20bn in efficiency savings to reinvest in improving quality.

'There is significant risk, during this transition period, of a loss of focus on quality, financial and performance discipline as organisations and individuals go through change,' he writes. 

Representatives from the National Association of Primary Care, the NHS Alliance and the RCGP have been invited by Sir David to discuss the plans, announced by the health secretary Andrew Lansley on Monday.

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