PM's adviser rules out commissioner choice

Patients will not be offered a choice of practice-based commissioner, according to the prime minister's health policy adviser.

Professor Paul Corrigan, health policy adviser to prime minister Tony Blair ruled it out because it could imbalance regional distribution of NHS funding.  

‘We have a population-based way of distributing money,’ Professor Corrigan told the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth last week.  

‘If you live in an area where there is a problem with the commissioner, individuals should not be able to opt out in that area.’  

Allowing patients to opt out of their local health economy would undermine attempts to make local health economies develop services to fit the needs of their population.  

‘If you had choices of commissioner we would lose the community-to-individual relationship,’ he said.  

Professor Corrigan confirmed there would be a role for private firms. ‘Buying healthcare for a locality is an incredible responsibility. The private sector does some of it very well — not all of it, but we have to involve it,’ he said.  

GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said it was ‘common sense’ to restrict patients from moving between commissioners.  

He pointed out that GP commissioners’ decisions had to fit in with their PCT’s overall plan, so dramatic differences in services commissioned by different groups in a similar area were unlikely.  

However, NHS Alliance chief executive Michael Sobanja told GP that choice of commissioner would be difficult to prevent.  

‘If you have budgets at practice level and you let patients choose which practice they register with, you have choice of commissioner,’ he said. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

X-ray sign

Spike in TB cases prompts public health warning

Cases of TB in England have risen by 7% compared with last year, prompting a warning...

COVID-19 vaccine

GPs demand investigation as winter vaccine 'mismanagement' risks patient safety

GP leaders in England have demanded an investigation into 'mismanagement' of this...

Medical centre sign

GP 'engineering' fears as small practice contracts offered on branch-only basis

GP leaders have raised concerns over the 'engineering' of general practice after...

Close up of BMA official picket armband

SAS doctors in England to hold indicative ballot on strike action

Specialist, associate specialist and specialty (SAS) doctors in England could join...

BMA sign

BMA to oppose expansion of physician associate roles amid safety concerns

Doctors' leaders will oppose government plans to expand use of physician associates...

Doctor strikes

Public strongly back talks and new pay offer to end doctor strikes

The general public believe the government should reopen talks to end doctor strikes...