The centre-right Policy Exchange says: ‘The process of decision making would better engage patients in their own healthcare as well as give a longer budgetary cycle to GP practices, which would also help reduce unavoidable variation in healthcare spending.'
Other ideas in the Which Doctor report, which was rushed out before Christmas, appear to chime with the Conservative health manifesto published this week. These include that NHS funding be distributed on the basis of patient age and postcode and that GPs be financially incentivised to set up practices in areas of most need through a ‘patient premium'
These would be distributed directly from the DoH or an independent NHS board favoured by the Tories to practices bypassing tiers of current management including strategic health authorities and PCTs.
The Policy Exchange lists the five most overfunded PCTs as:
- Richmond and Twickenham (23.8%)
- Westminster (22.7%)
- Kensington and Chelsea (22.1%)
- Hammersmith and Fulham (16.4%)
- Lambeth (14.9%)
The five most underfunded PCTs are:
- Bassetlaw (10.6%)
- Barnsley (9.3%)
- South Staffordshire (7.9%)
- Lincolnshire (7.5%)
- Leicester City (7.5%)
The think tank calls for NHS Choices to be run independently and suggests the Consumers' Association.