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PBC crippled by NHS budget cuts

Practice-based commissioning is being made virtually impossible to get off the ground because of the NHS financial crisis, GPs are warning.

GPs in York report the initiative has all but ground to a halt in their area after they rejected indicative budgets of 20 per cent lower than last year.

Dr David Hartley, chair of

the York Health Group, a 21-practice commissioning consortium, said: 'They've simply worked out what they had to spend and divvied it out.'

He added: 'Practice-based commissioning in the York area is difficult if not impossible. The sole raison d'être of the PCT has been to balance the books.'

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire and York PCT said the indicative budgets were for information only.

He said: 'It was clear that budgets based solely on last year's outturn would be unaffordable this year, given the

financial pressures on the new PCT.'

In Avon, GPs have complained budgets to help them get commissioning under way were less than sums they received under fundholding 10 years ago.

Steve Mercer, chief executive of Avon LMC, said: 'We've still got basic disagreement on first cut historic budgets.

'People are so sceptical about the size of the indicative budgets that we can't move on.'

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