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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Councils will have final say over GP commissioning says minister

By Ian Quinn

GPs will be held accountable for their commissioning by binding agreements with local authorities, Liberal Democrat health minister Paul Burstow has revealed.

He told delegates at the party's conference in Liverpool that the power of elected local authorities to hold GPs to account was a prime example of how the white paper has been influenced by Liberal Democrat policies.

In a bid to knock down what he called the ‘myth' that GPs would be given free rein over the £80bn NHS commissioning budget, Mr Burstow said: ‘GPs will be accountable for commissioning for their local population within a framework agreed with local government - an end to the democratic deficit in health decision-making.'

‘Some say that GP consortia will not be accountable for their performance or their finances. This is wrong,' he added.

‘Consortia will be accountable to me and to the Secretary of State through the mandate we will agree with the NHS Commissioning Board, which will hold consortia account for delivering on our priorities, through our outcomes framework. They will be accountable to Parliament for spending your money. They will be accountable to the local community through local government setting and agreeing the local strategy.'

Paul Burstow: consortia 'will be accountable to the local community through local government setting and agreeing the local strategy' Paul Burstow: consortia 'will be accountable to the local community through local government setting and agreeing the local strategy' More on GP commissioning at the NAPC Annual Conference

A top line-up of expert speakers – including Andrew Lansley, Sir David Nicholson and Mark Britnell - will be addressing the latest developments in GP commissioning at the NAPC Annual Conference in Birmingham in October.

To find out more and book your place today please click here.

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