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Every GP to spend ‘half day a week’ on commissioning

Every GP in the country will have to spend half a day a week on commissioning while consortium leaders will devote up to three days a week implementing the reforms, say commissioning experts.

Speaking at today’s Essential Commissioning skills conference in London, Dr Donal Hynes, a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset and co- vice chair of the NHS Alliance said: ‘It will take half a day a week, every GP in the country, not on contract monitoring but there is an area of care that will turn on a particular clinician – so the consortium might say someone needs to look at cancer care, someone needs to look at emergency admissions.’

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, director of commissioning at East of England, told the conference: ‘The national line is this isn’t going to take a great deal of time.

‘I believe leaders of the organisations, say two or three GPs, depending on the size of the consortium will need to spend two or three days a week while setting this up.’

Looking ahead to once the reforms are embedded, he said the same GPs would be spending about a day a fortnight on commissioning.

An alternative to using locums to backfill their time was currently being look at, in his area, he said.

‘Locums don’t show up or don’t know our QOF.

‘So we’re now trying to work out how we can create pools of good quality GPs to provide continuity.’

Dr Donal Hynes