By Gareth Iacobucci
NHS managers have signed a landmark deal with a group of private companies and commissioning experts to provide support to the first wave of pathfinder GP consortia.
NHS London has awarded a contract to the KPMG Partnership for Commissioning to support the development of pathfinders across the capital.
The partnership, claimed to be the first of its kind, sees KPMG teaming up with UnitedHealth UK, the National Association of Primary Care, Healthskills, NHS Primary Care Commissioning and legal firm Morgan Cole.
News of the deal comes after Pulse revealed earlier this week that GPs in the first wave of commissioning pathfinders are turning to the private sector for support in areas including referral management, financial support and back-office functions.
KPMG said the deal would provide NHS London with a ‘comprehensive and evidence-based package of business, finance, governance and personal development support', that would help GPs develop skills around financial management, contract management and engaging with local councils and other stakeholders.
Gary Belfield, formerly the Department of Health's commissioning chief and now associate partner at KPMG, said: ‘I am delighted that NHS London has awarded this ground-breaking contract to the KPMG Partnership for Commissioning. We look forward to working closely with the early pathfinders in London to ensure they are as prepared as possible to meet the commissioning challenges that face the NHS in the coming years.'
NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall said: ‘We are excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to providing support to practices as they seek to implement GP commissioning locally.'
NHS London said the contract was focused firmly on supporting consortia development and would not be providing services such as referral management.
An NHS London spokesperson said: 'The KPMG Partnership are designing and delivering individual and team leadership development and organisational development for GPs in the first eight pathfinder consortia in London. This will develop a leadership and organisational development approach to support all consortia in London, with an organisational development model and diagnostic tools that can be used by consortia to ensure they can become effective commissioners in the future.'Dr Johnny Marshall Survey
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