Think tank backs councils controlling PCTs

London's local authorities should be given control of PCTs' non-acute budgets, according to a report.

The paper, published by think tank London Councils, suggests the move would integrate services and allow GPs to make referrals to all local public services, ‘not just those run by the NHS'.

It also suggests the move would ‘offer direct democratic accountability and unified governance'.

In the longer term there should be a role for elected borough leaders and the mayor of London to scrutinise and influence health care strategy in London, the report says.

Dick Sorabji, corporate director of policy at London Councils, said: ‘We want to bring a whole range of public services to bear on improving health in London, and that needs closer integration between local government and local NHS services.'

He added that the move would allow NHS London to achieve the goals of the Darzi plan to provide healthcare locally ‘faster and more effectively'.

‘It will also have the added benefit of ensuring there is greater accountability for people in the different communities of London,' he said.

The report follows a Local Government Association consultation paper last week, which called for increased council control of primary health care.

Editor's blog: Should councils run PCTs?

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