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GP commissioners warned to expect ‘significant changes’ to planned budgets

GP commissioners have been warned not to make detailed plans based on funding estimates from the Department of Health, as they are ‘subject to significant change'.

The DH published projected spends per clinical commissioning group (CCG) this week based on PCT financial data in 2010/11, with the average allocation estimated as around £260k.

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The DH said the figures are to help with ‘initial planning' for CCGs, but GP commissioners told Pulse budgets should be approached with caution as the funding formula is likely to change.

Dr Johnny Marshall, chair of pathfinder United Commissioning and a GP in Buckinghamshire, said: ‘I would caution CCGs about making detailed plans on this basis as the figures could still be subject to significant change.'

Dr Shane Gordon, chief executive of North East Essex CCG,anda GP in Tiptree, Essex, agreed, saying there were likely to ‘winners and losers' when the final formula is agreed.

He said: ‘These are provisional estimates, so treat them with caution. The real question is about how this is implemented - will there be a limit on movement or some sort of distance from the target process?  This is where the risk lies.'