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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Second wave of pathfinder consortia revealed

By Gareth Iacobucci

Exclusive: GP consortia selected in the second wave of pathfinders are almost a third smaller than those named in the initial group, suggesting the final number of new organisations could exceed 300, a Pulse analysis has found.

The Department of Health this week unveiled a further 89 pathfinders to test the ability of GPs to take over commissioning from PCTs, taking the total up to 141.

The average consortium in the second wave contains just 25 practices and covers 175,000 patients, compared to an average of 36 practices covering 248,000 patients in the first wave.

More than 50% of the population in England are now covered by the pathfinder consortia, and our analysis suggests if the trend continues, more than 300 consortia will eventually be formed.

However the latest announcement raises questions about the long-term financial security of the fledgling organisations, with the GPC having previously warned that consortia with populations of less than 500,000 will struggle to manage financial risk.

The areas covered by the second wave of pathfinders vary significantly in size. While one consortium in Gloucestershire covers 85 practices, three pathfinders consist of just one practice each. The East Cliff Practice in Ramsgate, Kent forms the smallest of the new pathfinders, covering just 14,000 patients.

One of the new pathfinders is the North East Essex Commissioning Group, led by Dr Shane Gordon, a GP in Tiptree, Essex, and co-clinical lead of the NHS Alliance's GP Commissioning Federation.

Dr Gordon said: 'It is great to see a large number of energetic and wiling GP leaders paving the way to the NHS of the future. What we need now is to ensure that progress is not delayed by HR issues. We need to be able to access staff within PCTs as well as external resources so that we can press on with changes.

'These are exciting times for the NHS. GP commissioners have a real opportunity to improve services for patients, save taxpayers' money and forge a strong partnership with the local community and other potential partners.'

Dr Shane Gordon Pathfinders - cohort two

Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven
BANES GP Consortium
Bingley & North
Black Country GP Consortium
Blackpool Commissioning Consortia
Bolton GP Commissioning Consortium
Bournemouth & Poole
Brent GP Federation
C4 Canterbury
Calderdale Commissioning Consortia
Cannock Chase Commissioning Consortium
Carrick Commissioning Consortium
Central Consortium
Central London Healthcare (Westminster)
Cheltenham, Cleeve & Winchcombe PBC Consortium
Citycare
Commissioning for Oldham Group
Croydon Healthcare Consortium
DASH (Deal, Ash & Sandwich Health)
Dorset GP Commissioning Consortium
Dover
East Cliff Practice
East Cornwall Commissioning Consortium
East Elmbridge
East Lindsey
East Mendip Federation
East Riding Transition Group
Eastbourne
Eastern (Devon) Consortia Chairs Board
Essex GP Commissioning
EsyDoc
Federation of Bridgewater Practices
Gateshead (GatNet)
Gloucestershire
Golden Valley
Hallam and South Consortium
Hambleton and Richmondshire
Harrogate and Rural District
Hastings and Rother
Herts Valleys GP Commissioning Consortium
Independent Practices Cluster
Inner City and East Bristol Locality
Isle of Wight
Kensington & Chelsea GP Commissioning Consortium
Leeds (3 Consortia - 1 combined pathfinder: H3 Plus Commissioning Grp/Leodis Healthcare LLP/ Calibre)
Lincoln West
Maidstone and Malling
MedLinc
Mid Cornwall Medical PBC Commissioning Group
Mid Surrey
N&W Reading
Newbury
North and West Bristol Locality
North Cornwall Commissioning Consortia
North Devon Locality Commissioning Group
North East Essex GP Commissioning Group
North Norfolk Health Consortium
North Sheffield Consortium for Health
North Somerset Consortium
Northumberland Commissioning Consortia
Nottingham City
Slough
Solihull Commissioning
South and West Bradford
South Birmingham Independent Consortium
South Bristol Consortia
South Devon Commissioning Consortium
South Elmsall and Rycroft Consortium
South Hams & West Devon Commissioning Group
South Sefton Commissioning Confederation
South Worcestershire GP Commissioning
Stafford and Surrounds Consortium
StHealth
Telford and Wrekin GP Commissioning Group
Thanet
Totals
Vale Royal Commissioning Consortium
Victoria Commissioning Consortium (Westminster)
Wakefield Alliance Commissioning
Walsall GP Consortium
Waltham Forest Federated GP Consortium
Wellcomm
West Consortium
West Essex Commissioning Consortia
Whitstable Practice
Wiltshire Consortia – WWYKD, East Kennet, Alliance, Western, N. Wiltshire
Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium
Woking
Wokingham
Wyre Forest GP Commissioning Consortium

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