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Fourth wave of pathfinders brings consortia coverage to 90%

By Laura Passi

Health secretary Andrew Lansley today announced the fourth wave of GP-led pathfinder consortia, bringing the total coverage to nearly 90% of patients in England.

There are now 220 groups of GP practices that will commission services and manage local budgets, covering 45.7 million patients.

Pulse revealed earlier this week that the announcement of a fourth wave was imminent, with Dr James Kingsland, special adviser on commissioning at the Department of Health, claiming: 'It's almost job done.'

The first 52 pathfinders were unveiled last December, while the most recent group was announced at the start of last month.

The average consortium in the fourth wave covers 230,153 patients which is larger than the average for the second and third wave (175,000 and 186,000 average patients respectively), but is smaller than the first wave which saw a 248,000 average number of patients covered by each consortia.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said today: ‘This uptake from the grassroots is very encouraging and means that 9 out of 10 people in England will start to see the benefit of more personalised care.'

‘We welcome the new groups, which take the total number of GP pathfinders to 220. It is not only great news for patients but the entire NHS as doctors step forward to modernise services.'

Health secretary Andrew Lansley Health secretary Andrew Lansley Further reading

Blog: Just because GPs are pathfinders doesn't mean they support commissioning

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