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GPs in Northern Ireland to get taste of commissioning

GP-led commissioning looks set to start in Northern Ireland in March next year.

The GPC and the Health and Social Services Authority have provisionally agreed the date for seven local commissioning groups to start work.

The groups will be coterminous with new local councils in the province and will commission primary and secondary care services.

Each group will have four GP members. The other members will include nurses, pharmacists, professions allied to medicine and lay representatives.

Dr Tom Black, vice-chair of GPC Northern Ireland, said the plans were very much akin to PBC in England.'

The GPC is naturally concerned these groups will have sufficient independence, investment, autonomy and flexibility so that they can be real levers of change,' he said.

'These factors will determine whether GPs want to be involved in commissioning.'

Five road shows are planned for next month to help GPs understand the proposed changes.

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