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'Patients must have major voice in commissioning'

Practice-based commissioning will not work without a strong patient say in decision making, a new report suggests.

But the authors doubt whether the Government has the will to push patient choice into commissioning decisions because of potential conflict with GPs.

Author Dr Bernard Dowling, research fellow at the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, said: 'If you are going to have professional commissioners, an option should be to have the service users having a genuine influence over what the commissioners do.

'It would be quite wrong of the Government not to look at the effect of that.'

Dr Catti Moss, a GP in Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, and a spokeswoman for Developing Patient Partnerships, said GPs would find it hard to get the services they needed for patients without such input.

The report was published in Social Science and Medicine.

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