PCTs transfer community services to hospitals

A quarter of PCTs are considering transferring services they currently provide themselves to hospital trusts, managers say.

Mr Stout: PCTs are considering transferring community services to hospital trusts
Mr Stout: PCTs are considering transferring community services to hospital trusts

Under the DoH's Transforming Community Services reforms, PCTs are expected to draw up plans to outsource the work by the end of March.

The plans have raised fears that general practice could be threatened by a drive towards ‘vertical integration' of community and primary care services with hospitals.

David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation's PCT Network told a King's Fund conference that 25% were considering integrating their community services provider arms with an acute trust.

He said 15% may transfer the service to a mental health trust, and 15 to 20% were looking at handing over the services to local government or primary care.

But he said no PCT had ‘cracked what the organisational structure would be'.

Around 8% of PCTs are looking to set up community foundation trusts, while a ‘smattering' were looking to create social enterprises or retain their provider arm, he said.

Read the full story in this week's issue of GP dated 26 March

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