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GPs frozen out of PCT decision making

By Ian Quinn

Exclusive: GPs are being frozen out of key decisions at many PCTs across the country, a Pulse investigation reveals.

Figures obtained from 45 PCTs show that on average a third of management is made up of clinical appointments, with two thirds coming from a non-clinical background.

However, the situation gets far more extreme with figure for GPs, with an average of just eight GPs advising each PCT, most of those on a part-time basis.

More than half of the trusts that provided figures employed five GPs or fewer as advisers, compared to an average of 55 clinical staff employed in their decision-making as a whole.

RCGP chair Professor Steve Field slammed trusts for failing to engage properly with the profession.

‘It is critical that all PCTs have quality clinical leadership and clinical involvement in their decision making,' he said. ‘I believe that there should be a GP as a medical director in every PCT.'

He added: ‘Having better GP representation would not only improve the take up in commissioning but also the quality of commissioning decisions in this country.'

GPC deputy chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, called for PCTs across England to review their GP representation.

‘Clinical leadership is something the Government has been talking positively about in recent months,' he said, ‘But clearly there are PCTs where the message hasn't got across.'

The figures come after a Pulse investigation showed PCTs had sanctioned massive rises in management salary costs, with spending soaring by a quarter in just the past two years.

Many trusts project rises in management costs of 60% or more over the two-year period, with costs at one trust rising by more than 100%.

Professor Steve Field: crucial for GP representation to be increased Professor Steve Field: crucial for GP representation to be increased

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