Tough PBC guidance brings PCTs into line

New guidance on practice-based commissioning should force PCTs to be more proactive, while giving practices greater freedom to re-design services and make savings.

Lord Warner
Lord Warner

The blueprint sets out clear guidance for PCTs to ensure that more practices are able to take forward PBC with maximum support and minimum bureaucracy.

Health minister Lord Warner said the guidance would mean:

  • Reduced bureaucracy around business cases and tendering, making it easier for practices to develop new services, and making it easier for them to work in consortia.
  • More financial freedom to enable practices to take on a larger budget covering an increased scope of services, and practice budgets moved to represent more of a 'fair share' of PCT resources.
  • Stronger local incentive schemes to encourage more practices to engage in PBC and give practices a direct income, linked to national priorities such as the 18 weeks maximum wait.

Lord Warner said: ‘We need to ensure that PBC is quickly embedded in the everyday life of the NHS. We've listened to clinicians and expert opinion, and reflected the views in this guidance on establishing PBC as part of daily life in practices.

‘The new guidance I'm publishing today aims to get clinicians firmly in the driving seat’.

The new guidance is available at the Department of Health website.

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