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GP leader calls for PCT cull

By Gareth Iacobucci

A senior GP leader has called for the number of PCTs in London to be radically reduced, after claiming that existing NHS management structures in the capital are ‘unsustainable'.

Dr Michelle Drage, joint chief executive of Londonwide LMCs said the current arrangements, with NHS London in charge of six sector wide organisations, and 31 smaller PCTs, was ‘bonkers', and should be one of the first areas to target in making cuts in NHS spending.

Dr Drage said: ‘In London, there are 31 PCTs. This is bonkers, and clearly unsustainable. A far more sensible number of primary care management organisations is required. Probably what it was like around fifteen years ago, when we had a number of smaller health authorities.

‘It seems to make sense that they do something about that pretty rapidly. They could do that without waiting for primary legislation.

Dr Drage said the multiple layers of management were not required in the context of the new Government's plans to give more commissioning responsibility to GPs.

‘I'd tell them to get on with it and cut in areas where they are really acting as go-betweens. The professions together could probably make as good a job of commissioning services as any management organisation could.'

Dr Michelle Drage