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Revealed: The pathfinder consortium with just one GP practice

By Gareth Iacobucci

Staff at a GP practice have spoken of their delight after being chosen as a flagship Government pathfinder - making the single practice the country's smallest commissioning consortium.

The Government has today revealed the names of the 52 GP consortia who will become pathfinders in order to spearhead Andrew Lansley's commissioning revolution.

The Red House Practice in Radlett, which with three branch surgeries covers just 18,900 patients across South Hertfordshire, is the smallest of the lot. Staff today said they were delighted to have their application for pathfinder status accepted, while acknowledging the challenges ahead.

Ken Spooner, the practice manager, who has put in much of the groundwork in preparing the practice to take on the role, said: ‘As a solo PBC Group we have spent the last few years focused on developing services that are responsive to the needs of our patients and in delivering healthcare in the most cost-effective manner, insulating ourselves from some of the inefficiencies of central control.'

‘Becoming a pathfinder will allow us to develop this philosophy and capitalise on the enormous hard work that is being done by everyone within the practice working as a team to a common goal.'

He added: ‘With pathfinder status we now have the opportunity to employ this philosophy in the way that we commission services, looking for clear care pathways, efficiency of communications and ensuring that we are able to develop healthcare in conjunction with the needs of our patients; not the needs of providers or of those in central offices.'

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