The guidance says PCTs should calculate the budgets, even if only on a whole time equivalent or per capita population basis, so practices can assess their spending for community nursing and mental health services.
There will also be benchmarking of these costs across PCTs, strategic health authorities (SHAs) and at a national level that will eventually allow price bands for these services that do not have a Payment by Results tariff. However, the document makes no mention of whether this will supercede government intentions to create a community tariff in 2008 as originally planned.
The DoH states that PCTs should give 100 per cent of their budgets to practice-based commissioners. An agreed amount for PCT management costs and a ‘risk pool’ will then be given back to the PCT.
Practice-based commissioners should be allowed to keep 70 per cent of all savings to reinvest in services. Only 30 per cent should be used to pay off PCT deficits unless the SHA agrees special circumstances apply.
Read more in 4 December issue of Independent Nurse