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PM welcomes pathfinders to Downing Street

Prime Minister David Cameron told 100 GP representatives of the first-wave pathfinders, gathered at Number 10 last night, it was both ‘personally and politically' important to him for the commissioning reforms to succeed.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the nervousness of the reforms and addressed claims the reforms had come ‘out of the blue'.

‘This is not a revolution. It's evolution. GP-led commissioning, patient choice, Payment by Results, Foundation Trusts – they have all existed in one form or another over the past 15 years.

‘Our plans simply build on those advances.'

The PM also dismissed claims GP consortia would be ‘forced' to use the private sector to help them commission services.

‘Nothing could be further from the truth. Already, the new GP pathfinder consortia are working with the best staff in PCTs and SHAs to ensure their skills and talents are put to use in the new system.'

The Number 10 reception followed an away day event organised for the GP representatives from the 141 first wave pathfinder consortia where they were addressed by health secretary, Andrew Lansley and NHS chief exec, Sir David Nicholson.