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PCTs to make world-class commissioning a priority

PCTs have predicted world-class commissioning and the shift from secondary to primary care will be the biggest drivers of improvements in health services over the next five years.

PCTs have predicted world-class commissioning and the shift from secondary to primary care will be the biggest drivers of improvements in health services over the next five years.

The health reforms were the two top PCT answers in a recent survey carried out by the NHS Confederation.

Some 28% of PCTs put world-class commissioning in the top three and 16% said the shift from secondary to primary care. The quality agenda was the third top answer with less than 15%.

PCTs were asked to choose the top three health reforms that would have the biggest improvement impact in coming years from a list of: competition and choice; Connecting for Health; improved access to information for patients; greater investment; rising numbers of staff; integration between primary and secondary care; new staff contracts; patient choice; patient safety; Payment by Results; private sector involvement; quality agenda; regulation; establishment of FTs; shift from secondary to primary care; and world-class commissioning (WCC).

NAPC chair Dr James Kingsland asked how PCTs could fail to put WCC in the top three and said PBC overlapped with many of the other options in the survey such as Payment by Results, primary-secondary care integration and patient choice .

He said there was currently a ‘gulf' between the rhetoric about PBC and the reality for GPs on the ground, as many still faced lack of indicative budgets, data not being shared and no encouragement to develop PBC groups.

‘If PCTs have identified WCC as their main goal then their first port of call is to make sure they have a PBC programme. The shift from secondary to primary care can't happen without PBC.'

Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, said the result showed WCC had risen on PCTs' agenda, adding: ‘It's difficult to say whether this is because of the performance management that's been announced or because they see it as a good thing in its own right.'

Shifting from secondary to primary care was a top answer Dr James Kingsland Dr James Kingsland

If PCTs have identified WCC as a goal, they must have PBC thriving.

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