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‘Tiny’ number of PCTs predict deficit, says commissioning supremo

A ‘tiny' number of PCTs are forecasting a year end deficit, according to commissioning supremo Dame Barbara Hakin.

In an exclusive interview with Practical Commissioning, she said: ‘It's important to remember that very, very tiny numbers of PCTs forecasting a year end deficit and what we're saying is that we expect over this next year for consortia to work with PCTs to manage any deficit. Hopefully at the end of the year there will be very, very few PCTs with a deficit.'

She added the plan was for there not to be any consortia going live in 2013 with inherited debt.

The national managing director of commissioning development also said consortia would need to share many back office functions as a result of reduced management costs.

While describing the £25-£35 running cost figure revealed in the latest operarating framework as ‘fair and comparable' to what PCTs received for running – not just management – costs, Dame Barbara said consortia need to recognise management costs would be reduced..

‘We are all committed to reducing management costs and therefore I think consortia should be looking at economies of scale in trying to understand which things they absolutely need to do for themselves in terms of needing their clinical input or it is absolutely based on local circumstances and which things they can receive through a bigger commissioning support unit that will give them the right degree of expertise and deliver economies of scale.'

Dame Barbara Hakin Dame Barbara Hakin