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2009 is ‘crunch year’ for PBC

The next 12 months will make or break PBC according to the NAPC and NHS Alliance.

The next 12 months will make or break PBC according to the NAPC and NHS Alliance.

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, told Practical Commissioning: ‘If by December next year PBC isn't working, we are going to be in real hot water.

‘2009 is going to be the crunch year for PBC.'

NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall, said: ‘We've got Mark Britnell (director general for commissioning) saying business planning is going to be simplified and we have to remove the logjam of governance from a PCT perspective.

‘We have to get things moving fast on the ground otherwise practices will lose even more belief that we can make the changes necessary.'

Dr Marshall's and Dr Dixon's comments came as the King's Fund published a highly critical report into PBC that concluded the ‘power play' between PCTs and GPs was paralysing its progress.

It said: ‘Three years have passed since the inception of PBC, during which only very modest progress has been achieved.'

And in a separate report commissioned by the DH to find out what factors made PBC work, author Sir John Oldham, former head of the Improvement Foundation, found three of the PCTs considered to be best performing by their SHAs were ‘no more than average'.

He told Practical Commissioning's sister paper Pulse: ‘There is an oasis of interest in a desert of apathy right now towards PBC.'

Lord Darzi's Next Stage Review published earlier this year spelt out the Government's commitment to ‘reinvigorate PBC' and vowed to hold PCTs to account if they do not give it sufficient support.

Dr Marshall said the DH was due to publish a PBC ‘narrative' before Christmas that will set out the Government's stall on PBC policy for 2009.

‘If they're serious about involving clinicians in commissioning and don't impact on it in 2009, I think many of my colleagues will feel disengaged for years to come and it will take us a long time to get them back on board.'

Dr Johnny Marshall: "We have to get things moving fast" Dr Johnny Marshall: "We have to get things moving fast"

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