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Government takes action to get PBC 'show on the road'

PCTs will have to turn round business plans in eight weeks and hand out indicative budgets by 1 May as part of the DH’s latest drive to show it is serious about PBC.

PCTs will have to turn round business plans in eight weeks and hand out indicative budgets by 1 May as part of the DH's latest drive to show it is serious about PBC.

The new deadlines were set out in a document clarifying what PBC support GPs are entitled to, including their data requirements. The document also stresses how PBC is central to the Government's World Class Commissioning drive.

Last year, 27% of practices in the August PBC survey reported not receiving an indicative budget yet. But starting this year, practices that do not receive their budget by 1 May will have recourse to the SHA, which the DH then expects to put pressure on PCTs to play ball.

41222072PCTs will also be unable to reach level 2 on the DH's 1-4 world class assessment scale (4 being the highest) without delivering the PBC entitlements.

NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall said the SHA could hold PCTs to account – if it wanted to. He said: ‘If the SHAs take it seriously enough then PCTs will jump (if told to). Whether the SHAs themselves take it seriously enough is for the SHAs to answer.'

He added: ‘The policy on PBC is now set in stone. It ensures everyone between the DH and the practices on the ground adopts the sense that this is something that's got to be done. The DH has done everything it can and now it's up to the SHAs and PCTs to deliver entitlements – and where they're not it must hold them to account.'

Primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome said the world-class assessment system marked a ‘sea change' for PBC and backed up the policy.

He added the ‘vast majority' of practice-based commissioners would receive their budget by 1 May and added ‘even if there are a few that haven't this will be resolved quickly'.

He said: ‘On all the areas – setting the budget, business cases and data – I'd be shocked if there isn't enough stuff to get this show on the road. And shocked I'm not expecting to be.

‘We have enough feedback and performance management systems in place to get that feedback early on.'

NHS Alliance chair Dr Mike Dixon said: ‘This document should dispel any doubts about whether PBC is here to stay. It's very simple: no PBC, no WCC.'

Dr David Colin-Thome: World Class Commissioning assurance system is a sea change Dr David Colin-Thome: World Class Commissioning assurance system is a sea change What else the DH says

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