NHS reform will speed up next year, consultants warn

Primary care will expand in 2014 as the transfer of work out of hospitals accelerates, a leading health consultancy firm has predicted.

NHS: reforms set to accelerate
NHS: reforms set to accelerate

Health consultancy firm KPMG, which has advised a quarter of England's 211 CCGs, says the GP commissioning groups will play a ‘critical role in reshaping care’ and integrating services with social care next year.

NHS England is due to publish its long-anticipated vision for general practice in 2014. Early details of its plans for London suggest it will force practices to federate to expand services.

CCGs could also be handed a greater role in commissioning primary care in partnership with area teams, NHS England revealed last week.

KPMG head of UK healthcare Andrew Hine said: ‘It is widely accepted that left untouched, and despite its relatively favoured financial protection, the NHS will hit the financial buffers within two years,’ he said.

‘Yet, solving this problem isn’t just a question of rebalancing budgets. It’s about addressing long-standing and long-evaded questions of sub-scale, high-cost, low-quality services.

‘Many of these services are much loved but they were fit for the twentieth, not twenty-first century and their weaknesses, although widely known, are rarely discussed.

‘Models of care will start to change dramatically as public, private and voluntary organisations combine forces to ensure patient needs come first and the shift of care from hospitals towards primary care and home will accelerate.’

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