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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Cleveland – strained relations

GPs in Cleveland feel PBC is being held back by the PCTs desire to keep hold of the purse strings.

GPs in Cleveland feel PBC is being held back by the PCTs desire to keep hold of the purse strings.



PBC ‘is making some progress but very slow on the uptake', says Cleveland LMC secretary Dr John Canning. ‘Some patches are looking at referrals and indicative budgets but nothing big has changed yet.

‘We feel it has been held back by the PCTs wanting to keep hold of the purse strings as well as the control strings.' There is also ‘an element of change fatigue'.

Concerns about the procurement of new health centres under Lord Darzi's Next Stage Review programme are also affecting relationships between GPs and the PCT. There are suspicions the new surgeries are being set up in competition with local practices, says Dr Canning.

And plans to close the two local acute hospitals and put acute services for the whole North of Tees region – covering Stockton, Hartlepool, parts of Easington and Sedgefield – on a single site are also fuelling fears.

‘The theory is the new hospital will have fewer beds and will be doing only those things that hospitals should be doing but there is a lot of anxiety among GPs that the community services will not be there.'

Cleveland: change fatigue among GPs Cleveland: change fatigue among GPs

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