Think tank urges commissioners to take leadership role

Commissioners should take a stronger leadership role across the NHS in developing a response to budget constraints, according to a think tank.

NHS leaders encouraged to take stronger leadership role in response to financial challenges ahead
NHS leaders encouraged to take stronger leadership role in response to financial challenges ahead

A King's Fund report titled Windmill 2009 NHS response to the financial storm calls on local and national NHS leaders to be honest about the scale of the financial challenges ahead and engage the public and healthcare staff about how they propose to deliver quality while reducing costs.

The report is based on the findings of a simulation event which involved 60 policy-makers, regulators, commissioners, clinicians and patient representatives. Participants were given two near future scenarios that posed questions about how PCTs and local service providers should start preparing for the less generous period of NHS funding ahead.

An imaginary future DoH policy document was used in the workshop to provoke debate about how far NHS leaders may consider going to make the £15-20 billion efficiency savings the service is targeting by 2014. That discussion paper included fictional DoH plans to suspend contracts of inefficient GP practices, scrap practice boundaries, charge patients to see a GP, abolish PCTs and raise the age at which NHS staff can take their pension to 70 as possible cost-cutting steps.

The report drew conclusions from how the scenarios played out in the two-day workshop.

These included that PCTs must not delay planning — they need to start preparing now for how they will provide services with less generous budgets in future; government and regional health bosses must resist reverting to central 'command and control' and let local NHS leaders use their initiative to make decisions; and opportunities for new private or third sector providers to get involved in providing services for the NHS should not be limited.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Renewable energy

GP practices can be 'more ambitious' on tackling climate change

GP practices can be more ambitious in taking steps to tackle climate change than...

GP surgery sign

Risks of being a partner have outstripped benefits, GPs told

The risks of being a partner have become greater that the benefits, the RCGP conference...

Image of Dr Farzana Hussain

GPs urged to use their voices to improve the lives of patients in deprived areas

The can-do attitude and independence of GPs offers a unique opportunity to help reverse...

Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Unequal impact of COVID-19 'utterly predictable' amid rising inequality, says Marmot

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people in the most deprived parts of England...

Consulting room door

NHS on course for shortfall of 11,000 GPs within a decade

One in four GP and practice nurse posts will be vacant within a decade without a...

Dr Iona Heath

Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can help GPs tackle health inequalities

GPs can use evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic to put pressure on the government...