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Notes from the field of public involvement

Sunday, 05 December 2004

Practice Based Commissioning

If you remember fundholding PBC will sound familiar, but PBC is meant to go much further. From April 2005, practices who wish to can hold an indicative budget from the PCT and take decisions about how to spend it to obtain whatever services it feels are right for its patients. No practice can be refused or compelled, but PCTs are hoping for a consortium approach between neighbouring practices.

If they make savings, practices can keep up to 50% and use it to develop new services (assuming they have the right competencies and the new services relate to public health objectives in the PCT’s Local Delivery Plan and would impact positively on health inequalities). Community nursing teams may also go down this budget-holding road in future years. PBC should give a big impetus to patient participation. Interim DH guidance (October 2004, paragraph 25) says that practices adopting PBC will be encouraged and supported by PCTs to involve patients and local communities in commissioning decisions. Locally in Wandsworth, the Chair of our Professional Executive Committee has stated that he will not support any practice to hold a commissioning budget unless they have a patient participation group. That’s a big incentive for grass roots involvement. Will practices be up to the challenge? Will PCTs be able to deliver on this commitment? Watch this space for the definitive guidance expected shortly. In the meantime we think patients should find out if their practice intends to hold a budget from April 05. If the answer is yes, patients should insist that they are involved with all commissioning decisions – “nothing about us without us”.

Read more here: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/09/03/59/04090359.pdf

Andrew Craig | Send feedback