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Commission supports PBC

From Andy McKeon

Managing director, Health

Audit Commission

Your story 'Watchdog delivers wake-up call over PBC shortcomings' (News, June 15) will have left readers in the dark on a fundamental point about our new publication on practice-based commissioning: we support its introduction.

We think PBC has great potential not only to improve services for patients but also to provide better value for taxpayers' money. But it will need time, effort and skill to achieve that potential.

Implementing PBC also carries challenges and risks. However, the important point is that these issues are recognised and addressed. The NHS has the knowledge and experience to do that.

Our booklet, Early Lessons in Implementing Practice-Based Commissioning, identified PCTs that have made progress on successful implementation, despite remarks made by others in your magazine. The report drew on their experience and it does what it says on the cover, recommending areas on which to concentrate for success and offering key questions for PCTs' boards to consider.

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