Viewpoint - Commissioning

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read - Writing exclusively for GP, Cambridgeshire GP Dr Paul Zollinger-Read says the first of the DoH's packs will help make commissioning a reality.

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read

'The cardiac rehabilitation commissioning pack starts to answer vital questions for GPs. How will outcomes actually be embedded in commissioning? And how can we ensure the correct focus is placed on areas like procurement?

Cardiac rehabilitation is the perfect example of what 'clinician-led' can mean and it is one of the most cost-effective interventions available.

Cardiac rehab is known to reduce the risk of readmission to hospital. This is not just good for patients.

With a 'no payment for readmissions within 30 days' policy due to kick in next April, reducing the risk of readmission has never been more pertinent for the NHS.

The commissioning pack sets out what a good cardiac rehab service should look like in terms of activities, patient outcomes and costs. It focuses on the need to join up with other services.

Then there is the commissioning, or buying, itself - the part that won't come naturally to all new GP commissioners. With templates for contracts and costing tools, the pack is surprisingly straightforward.

The new pack is undeniably useful in bringing together the clinical and the commercial, the service specification and patient outcomes. It encapsulates the essence of what "clinician-led" really means.

Clinician-led commissioning brings the potential for real change, and a new perspective.'

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