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Private investment to 'rescue' PBC

By Gareth Iacobucci

A new study by the King's Fund says private investment cash may be needed to bail out practice based commissioning.

The study calls for a major revamp in the delivery of PBC, with widespread fears that the flagship Government health policy is in danger of collapsing.

The King's Fund says that ‘significant scaling-up and strengthening of primary care organisation' is needed for both commissioning and service delivery to work, and suggests that private investment may be required.

The report, entitled ‘Windmill 2007: The Future of Healthcare Reforms in England' , says that small independent practices operating on their own or in a jointly owned company or cooperative do not offer ‘a consistent or sustainable basis for significant shifts in the way health care is delivered'.

The study, part of a wider analysis of recent health system reforms, grilled policy-makers, regulators, managers and clinicians from the NHS and independent sectors.

Discussing the future of PBC, the report said that the key question is whether primary care practices will be able to strengthen on their own or whether ‘other partners or alternative sources of investment are needed.'

This week Pulse revealed a large number of GPs were losing faith in PBC, with many blaming the financial problems of PCTs.

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