By Gareth Iacobucci
GP leaders have warned that the development of commissioning consortia is being hamstrung by a paucity of financial support - after it emerged that GPs have been offered just £67.50 per hour to fund their involvement.
The disclosure is the first time a figure has been placed on how much GPs are being offered to fund their involvement in commissioning, and suggests there are scant resources available to support the Government's commissioning plan.
A GP commissioning lead in East Yorkshire warned that the financial offer made by his PCT to fund GPs involvement was not enough to ignite interest in most grassroots GPs, and warned that consortia's development would he hampered without adequate resources to cover practice time.
Dr Clive Henderson, a GP in York, and chair of Goole, Howden and West Wolds locality commissioning group, said GPs in his locality had initially been offered £67.50 per hour, but felt this was not enough to cover meetings and locum costs.
He said: ‘The initial offer was for £67.50 per hour. The current offer on the table sounded better at £45 plus receipted locum bills for board/clinical executive work, or £35 plus locum for transition group work. That was until we found locum costs were thought to be £35 per hour.
‘GPs would not be able to get adequate locum cover at that cost. Human resources issues are holding back the development of effective consortia.'
Dr Henderson added: ‘The fee for chairing or attending the monthly locality commissioning forum meetings was suggested at £30 per hour and any reading and preparation time at £25 per hour. Suffice it to say that my locality felt unable to continue meeting at that rate.'The first payments made for commissioning work have been £68 an hour