Third of practices have no PBC budget

A third of practices still do not have an indicative practice-based commissioning (PBC) budget and more than half are critical of PCT support surrounding the initiative, according to a latest survey.

Dr David Jenner

The survey, carried out by IPSOS MORI on behalf of the DoH, has found support among GPs for PBC, with 57 per cent saying they backed the initiative compared with just 8 per cent saying they are strongly opposed.

However while just under three quarters of GPs said they had a good relationship with their PCT, more than half said that management support and flow of information to practices was poor.

In addition the survey found what the NHS Alliance has called ‘a worrying gap’ between PCT and practice opinion about PBC.

While a third of practices said they still do not have an indicative PBC budget, latest information from PCTs says that almost all practices have been given a budget.

NHS Alliance PBC lead Dr David Jenner said: “PCTs and SHAs are in denial over real problems with implementation. If they continue to maintain the mistaken belief that all is well, PBC will fall apart.”

The survey, called Practice-Based Commissioning: GP practice survey, which surveyed more than 1,000 practices, also found that 31 per cent believed the initiative had not improved patient care, just 13 per cent said it had and 37 per cent said it was too early to tell.  In addition one in three said they are commissioning new services as a result of the initiative.

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