Turn-around teams visited half of PCTs

More than half of PCTs in England had been visited by turn-around teams before reorganisation in October 2006, according to a finance expert.

England's 303 PCTs were merged to form 152 new trusts in October 2006.

Keith Davies, CEO of Humana, said the number of PCTs visited by turn-around teams was 175, making up over half of the 303 PCTs that existed before they merged. Humana was one of 14 private companies shortlisted to provide non-medical services to PCTs under the DoH's Framework for Procuring External Support for Commissioners.

One of his recommendations to NHS staff attempting to overcome PCT deficits was to get rid of ineffective management. He said the redundancy of up to two-thirds of management in one PCT 'had been effective'.

Speaking at the NHS Employers' annual conference in Birmingham last week, Mr Davies said that in 2006 accountants KPMG sent 'turnaround teams' at the DoH's invitation to address the deficits of the worst-performing PCTs across the country. Mr Davies said 'a lack of clinical engagement and very poor financial control management' were consistent problems.

Other PCTs were criticised for 'indulgent planning' and offering 'unattractive products'.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com.

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