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Call for ring-fenced cash for GPs to tackle health inequalities

By Gareth Iacobucci

PCTs should be encouraged to pass on up to 10% of their overall budget to practice-based commissioners in order to reverse damaging health inequalities, according to the NHS Alliance.

The organisation said clinicians needed to be inspired to mount a ‘health revolution' at local level, with a greater emphasis on preventative health the only way to tackle the problem in the current financial crisis.

It said a lack of engagement, money and inspiration were all currently blocking progress, and said it was imperative that greater responsibility be handed down to GPs, with 5%-10% of trusts' overall budgets given to PBC groups to spend on health initiatives.

Dr Michael Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance, said: ‘We need to encourage a local health revolution and support innovative projects that inspire and engage local people and health professionals. For that to happen we need funds, so we suggest that primary care trusts allocate a certain amount of their budget for health initiatives.'

He added: ‘We are all producers of health. It is not just the remit of Directors of Public Health or health trainers. We must now mainstream it in the psyche of every health professional and member of the public, encourage and enable them to achieve better health and be prepared to fund and support those who are at the leading edge.'

‘Only then will we overcome the inequalities that look set to become even greater in a cold economic climate.'

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