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PECs must prove their value

Members of the professional executive committees of new PCTs should have their performance scrutinised regularly to see if they are offering value for

money.

The move would help ensure PECs had genuine influence within PCTs, responses to the consultation on reform of the committees have said.

Early responses have been united in stating that PEC members should not be merely 'representatives' of their professions, but take a wider view of management and strategy.

If implemented by the Department of Health, this would mean some PECs having no GPs.

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance and an adviser for the consultation, said PEC performance should be monitored.

'An awful lot of [old] PECs were talking shops,' he said. 'There were highly skilled clinicians who did not give much output. We do need a commitment that clinicians on the new PECs are worth their salt.'

Dr Dixon agreed PEC members should not be chosen merely to represent professions.

He added: 'People have been saying that PECs need to be the commissioning board of a PCT.'

Peter Melton, clinical lead at NHS Networks, which is overseeing the consultation, said that for PECs to be successful, they had to have the right people, regardless of which profession they came from.

He said: 'Respondents are saying PEC membership should be based on whether people have the right competencies.'

The consultation, Fit to Lead, is at www.dh.gov.uk and closes on 7 February.

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