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Call for DH PBC survey to be dropped

Dr James Kingsland, NAPC chair, has said it is time for the Government to axe the quarterly PBC survey.

Dr James Kingsland, NAPC chair, has said it is time for the Government to axe the quarterly PBC survey.

The latest survey shows 64% of practices now support PBC as a policy, compared with 57% a year ago.

But Dr Kingsland said: ‘We're talking about margins. We shouldn't be sitting here and saying it's fantastic we've got 3% improvement on this question or that question.

‘The survey has done its job and we are now going to have the DH's PBC team, headed by primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome, to try and engage people with PBC.

‘Lord Darzi wouldn't have put in his report about the need to reinvigorate PBC if it had developed as it should have.'

Dr Kingsland said it might actually be unhelpful to have the survey in early months of the DH PBC improvement board.

‘It would be more helpful to have a survey in 18 months' time,' he said.

The latest survey shows 46% of practices have commissioned at least one service, compared with 33% a year ago.

But 27% of respondents said they had yet to be given an indicative budget by their PCT and 36% had yet to agree a commissioning plan.

Dr Mike Dixon, NHS Alliance chair, said there was a case for more questions to be added and SHA targets to be set on PBC in light of the recent results.

He said: ‘We hear such results survey after survey – but what are the SHAs doing about it? Are they not bothered?'

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