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London leads race for GP consortia

By Ian Quinn

More than 100 GP practices in London have taken part in talks to become part of pathfinder consortia under the Government’s commissioning drive, NHS London has announced.

The capital is leading the drive towards GP consortia, with Pulse revealing last week that GPs in Kingston, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Sutton and Merton and Westminster were among those set to take forward the programme.

Ruth Carnall, Chief Executive of NHS London, told a meeting of GPs: ‘We are determined that the NHS in London is in good health before handing over commissioning to GPs when the time comes. By releasing resources now we will be able to tackle the challenges London faces more quickly and effectively. More importantly, we will be able to give GPs the tools they need to take commissioning.’

Dr Tom Coffey, associate medical director of primary care in London and a GP in Wandsworth, said: ‘Many London GPs have expressed an interest in becoming pathfinders and we are encouraging as many GPs to come forward as possible.

Eleanor Brown, CEO of Nelson Commissioning Group, which covers patients in Sutton and Merton, said: ‘It is excellent that NHS London has taken the initiative to move so fast and offer opportunities to emergent GP consortia. This will allow us to take the reins and move on with clinical commissioning and improve services for our patients.’

Dr Tom Coffey