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PBC allows for closer collaboration; GPs to be offered advanced course in commissioning

Practice-based commissioning (PBC) is the key to enabling GPs to expand the breadth and scope of primary care, according to a new report from the Department of Health’s primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome.

Practice-based commissioning (PBC) is the key to enabling GPs to expand the breadth and scope of primary care, according to a new report from the Department of Health's primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome.

PBC will also make it more attractive for consultants and their teams to work outside of hospitals and more closely with GPs, he believes.

Dr Colin-Thome, who also works as a GP in Runcorn, Cheshire, cites the Epsom Day Surgery company run by GP Dr Tim Richardson, where GPs refer patients to consultants who are literally down the corridor to carry out X-rays, diagnostic investigations or cataract and hernia operations.

Keeping it Personal can be found on the Department of Health website

GPs to be offered advanced course in commissioning

GPs and practice managers could win a chance to bolster their commissioning knowledge and skills in a new university-accredited management course.

The improvement Foundation is to fund most or all of the cost of the Advanced Commissioning course for up to 200 participants.

GP organisations, including the National Association of Primary Care, have been involved in early talks about the course with the Improvement Foundation, the body that runs the national PBC development programme.

Dr James Kingsland, NAPC chair, said the course could offer plenary sessions of national and international experts at the start and midpoint of the course, with the rest undertaken via distance learning.

A spokesperson for the Improvement Foundation, said the course would be aimed at GPs and practice managers taking a lead on PBC in their areas.

‘It's designed to help people really think through what commissioning is really about, what the commissioning cycle actually is, taking people through the whole process and help them apply those principles to their own services, patients and populations,' she said.

‘It's not about specific skills gaps per se, but to create an accredited course that will do commissioning as a whole.'

The spokesperson added that regional training days are to be offered to PBC consortium leads from March to May. Run by strategic health authorities in association with the NHS Alliance, they will look at the next step required to drive PBC forward.

Further details of both initiatives will be made available by the Improvement Foundation.

Dr David Colin-Thome Dr David Colin-Thome

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