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RCGP chief calls for PCT management cull

By Steve Nowottny

Ministers should slash the number of PCTs in a large-scale reorganisation of the NHS in a bid to tackle ‘third world standards' in some trusts, RCGP Professor Steve Field has said.

In a stinging attack on PCT managers, Professor Field claimed a fresh shakeup was required in order to help address health inequalities

‘A lot of work has got to be done to make sure PCTs come up to scratch, and if not frankly they should merge,' he said. ‘There are rather too many PCTs with rather too few high quality managers going round to service them.'

‘There are far too many PCTs in London, it doesn't make sense,' he said. ‘Even if you just look at immunisation rates as one indicator for performance across a PCT, some of the PCTs have third world standards.'

‘Reorganisation for the sake of it is not worth it, and I can understand why we have so many PCTs because certainly in London they match the local authority boundaries generally. But in other cities there are two or three PCTs where there should be one, and in London the number just doesn't make sense to me.'

Last year Pulse revealed PCT bosses in London had begun combining their commissioning functions, while some trusts had raised the prospect of full-scale mergers.

But a Department of Health spokesperson said last week: ‘There aren't any plans for top-down imposed reconfiguration.'

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