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Give budgets to practices not consortiums, urges commissioning tsar

Giving budgets to consortiums, rather than individual practices would result in a reincarnation of PCTs, the PBC tsar Dr James Kingsland warned.

His warning comes amid rumours that the Treasury has balked at giving GPs sole responsibility for £80 billion pounds worth of budgets.

Dr Kingsland, the national clinical network lead for PBC, told Practical Commissioning: ‘Who is going to be accountable for this £80 billion? If it's the consortiums that defeats the objects because they'll just become different-sized PCTs.

‘It really has to be at practice level. And I'm trying to convince Andrew Lansley of that. There are growing numbers of GPs who are prepared to take it on.'

Dr Kingsland,who is also the NAPC president, said the debate about accountability was holding up the forthcoming White Paper.

‘GPs have the power in their hands to make the right decisions. If every GP wasted £20 in 10 consultations during a morning and there are 25,000 GPs working at any one time, that's half a million pounds wasted in a morning. That's the scale we should be looking at to save money. It starts in the consulting room. We don't want to be involved in procurement and contracting. The NHS can do that. Just give us the budgets.'