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PBC summit held

An emergency PBC summit was held this month, following claims that some PCTs are centralising commissioning and going cold on PBC as the financial crisis kicks in.

An emergency PBC summit was held this month, following claims that some PCTs are centralising commissioning and going cold on PBC as the financial crisis kicks in.

Attended by seven collaboratives covering 2 million patients, the summit in London identified the biggest obstacle to PBC progress was commissioning capability in the NHS.

Dr Johnny Marshall, chair of the NAPC, which convened the summit said: ‘These groups did not feel they were seen as a central part of the solution to the economic change.

‘They came with a "can-do" attitude, recognising that PBC is the only show in town if we are going to address the financial crisis. But they are majorly frustrated that they can't make PBC work in terms of delivering better services for patients.'

Last month health secretary Andy Burnham called for PBC to be given some 'oomph' and said it needed a renewed emphasis.

PBC consultant Gerry McLean said Mr Burnham's comments were ‘timely' but needed translating at the coalface.

‘I think the dilemma is getting over the next few months as GPs wait for either the Tories to get in or Labour to take action and say these PBC groups must be allowed to get on with it.

‘Motivation is also being damaged around the whole issue of freed resources.

‘I know one group that has saved over £500,000 and the PCT has held onto all of it.'

PBC consultant Scott McKenzie, who also works with a number of PBC groups, said PCTs were splitting into two camps – those devolving much more to PBC and those becoming very centralised.

He said: ‘The latter's attitude is that PBC has not worked, is not going to work, so we're going to do it all for you. That's how they believe they will achieve the World-Class Commissioning assurances.

‘I've had one PBC group contact me to say the PCT has withdrawn all money from PBC.'


To follow up the summit, the NAPC has planned a further meeting with input from successful PBC areas to identify ‘enablers' along with a website of successful schemes.


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