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PCTs to squeeze GP drug budgets

By Ian Quinn

PCTs have revealed plans to cut millions from primary care budgets by clamping down on GP prescribing, reviewing enhanced services and discontinuing practice-based commissioning services.

A Pulse survey of plans drawn up under the Government’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) initiative has uncovered a series of radical measures.

NHS Barnsley said it had identified £2m of efficiency saving to be delivered under QIPP by reducing the cost of GP prescribing, while a string of PCTs said GP medicines management was among the areas that were under scrutiny.

NHS Ealing said its QIPP programme would include ‘focusing on medicines management’, as well as using contracting levers within GMS, APMS and PMS contracts, with the ongoing PMS negotiations named by many trusts as falling within the QIPP programme.

NHS Ealing also revealed it would review its local enhanced services, as did NHS Kirklees, which said it would be ‘decommissioning those that are no longer delivering the intended outcomes’.

It added it would be ‘reviewing PBC schemes for ongoing viability’.

Most trusts claimed GPs had been closely consulted over the proposals. But two PCTs, NHS Dudley and NHS Coventry, said they had employed external consultants to draw up their QIPP plans, despite the Government having called on trusts to slash their spending on this area.

PCTs aim to save millions by clamping down on GP prescribing PCTs aim to save millions by clamping down on GP prescribing