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Independents' Day

GPs left out of loop over PCT mergers

GPs are accusing primary care trusts and strategic health authorities of failing to consult them over a growing number of PCT mergers.

South and North Trafford PCTs in Greater Manchester, Ashfield and Mansfield PCTs in Nottinghamshire and Greater and Central Derby PCTs have either merged their senior tier of management or are in the process of doing so.

Cherwell Vale and East Oxfordshire and Central and South Huddersfield PCTs in Yorkshire plan similar moves.

Dr Brian Bates quit his post as professional executive committee chair of Greater Derby PCT because of a lack of consultation by Trent strategic health authority. He said: 'I had no choice. They were essentially saying my chief executive, who is very good, is out of a job.'

Mansfield GP Dr Richard Hook said the mergers made a mockery of the reorganisation of the NHS. 'When we were a PCG we had a steering group, then we had a PCT, which had consultation with everybody and public meetings. Now we've got a merger and there's been no consultation.'

NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon said such mergers were worrying: 'Where the clinicians are not signed up and are not properly consulted then we are saying a merger shouldn't happen.'

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