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GPs must leave 'comfort zones' to make PBC work

By Gareth Iacobucci

GPs must be prepared to leave their comfort zones in order to make Practice Based Commissioning work, say leading primary care researchers.

The long-term success of the policy will also hinge on PCTs ability to let go of the reigns, according to a new study on the flagship Government initiative.

The paper by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre highlights key factors affecting the development of PBC, which researchers claim has been held back because its initial objectives were ambiguous and unclear.

However, it suggested that the policy was worth sticking with, as it could potentially raise standards in general practice and bring a general improvement in service planning and integration.

The report concluded: ‘Our results suggest that the potential longer term impact of PBC in affecting the pattern and delivery of local services depends upon the extent to which PBC becomes integrated with the wider commissioning agenda of the PCT.

‘This is not an easy thing to achieve, as it requires PCT managers to be prepared to cede some control, and GPs to engage beyond their traditional comfort zones, addressing wider population health needs and taking managerial responsibility.

‘Furthermore, it will require significant managerial resources and commitment from individuals, and it is not clear from our study how far it will ultimately be achieved. However, tackling these difficult questions could bring significant rewards.'

GPs have been largely disenfranchised by PBC Related Seminars: PBC Masterclass

PBC Masterclass: Regional events

What: These regional PBC events are designed to equip you with the sophisticated skills needed to overcome barriers and push on towards PBC success.

When: 10 individual events running from October 2009 to January 2010

Where: 10 different regions throughout England. Each event has been tailored to address the learning priorities highlighted by practice-based commissioners in that area.

Next steps: Find out more and book

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