Notes from the field of public involvement

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Pilots announced to extend GP provision in deprived areas

Coinciding with the announcement that December 2006 rather than 2008 is now the deadline for all practices to be in Practice Based Commissioning (PbC), comes a welcome announcement of six pilot schemes, and 15 more later, to extend primary care provision in deprived and under-doctored areas. But where is the funding to sustain this initiative? Of course, that’s what PbC is meant to produce in the form of “savings” when commissioning GPs start doing things if not better, then certainly cheaper than PCTs do.

Bringing PbC forward so dramatically signals a realisation by Government that unless demand management through PbC can be achieved, and savings can be realised to expand primary care, then Foundation Trusts and payment by results will bleed PCTs drier than many are already. Ms Hewitt says that “entrepreneurial” GPs and other providers will be encouraged to apply to their PCTs for funding to run the extra services. Fine in theory, but how do insolvent PCTs manage this? However innovative their GPs wish to be they can’t expand services without recurring resources.

More GPs for under-doctored areas” press release

Andrew Craig | Send feedback