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PBC postcard - Dr Ruth Livingstone

Dr Ruth Livingstone, chair of Wellcomm Commissioning Group in Welland, Lincolnshire

Dr Ruth Livingstone, chair of Wellcomm Commissioning Group in Welland, Lincolnshire

I became chair of our PBC consortium because our previous chair resigned to chair our cluster's new provider company.

If I wasn't chair I would have much more time to sleep and eat.

I spend six hours a week on PBC; I am paid for all of them because local practices share the PBC DES cash and fund my time.

We chose Wellcomm as our name because we are the Welland Commissioning Group and it seemed short and catchy.

The word that best sums up local GPs' attitude to PBC is apathy.

Our PCT's attitude towards PBC is encouraging if we follow its agenda.

Our local acute trust thinks PBC is an excellent idea and has worked hard to develop a good relationship with us.

• The work with our acute trust to secure the future of our small local hospital is our greatest achievement as a consortium

• Keeping everybody together is my greatest achievement as consortium chair.

• The obvious lack of enthusiasm from GP colleagues has been my biggest regret.

The most frustrating thing about PBC is the very slow pace at which things happen.

• Inertia is the biggest threat to PBC's success.

I am optimistic PBC will lead to better services and a stronger role for primary care.

PBC would be transformed overnight if our budgets were made real.

The worst piece of PBC jargon I have come across is NHS-speak – meaningless phrases, assembled randomly, combined with the term ‘health inequalities'.

Compared with fundholding, PBC is a quantum leap into the unknown.

I think health ministers view PBC as a good thing, as it keeps pesky GPs busy.

In five years' time PBC will have either blossomed into the main commissioning power in the NHS or withered away.

In five years' time I will be sipping champagne and congratulating my colleagues on another good year… possibly.

Dr Ruth Livingstone

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