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Independents' Day

Waiting time cuts to drain PBC funds

Moves to cut hospital waiting lists to 13 weeks and below will make a serious hole in practice-based commissioning budgets, GPs are warning.

Dr Trefor Roscoe, a GP in Sheffield and GPC representative for South Yorkshire, said the extra work would have a huge effect, as budgets were based on historic activity levels.

Dr Roscoe said: 'We've no idea how much activity is contained in the waiting list. People are entering into agreements and agreeing budgets on the basis that they know what their activity should be.

'If the budget includes an element of waiting list and they then have to spend money getting that down, they are going to run out of money.'

Dr James Kingsland, chair of the National Association of Primary Care and a GP in Wallasey, Merseyside, said the problem would only be resolved when budgets were shifted to a fair shares basis.

He said: 'If we don't move from historic budget setting, there's no hope for practice-based commissioning anyway.'

Dr Kingsland said a 'whole range of issues' linked to historic budget setting, including perverse incentives to overspend, threatened the future of internal NHS markets.

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