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SHA chief’s warning on GP consortia

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government's GP commissioning agenda could hinder efforts to reduce health inequalities, the head of the country's largest SHA has warned.

NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnall told the London Assembly's Health and Public Services Committee that GP consortia in some areas may be able to attract better staff and services than others under the new arrangements, and said the risk of fragmentation was ‘significant'.

The London Assembly press office said Ms Carnall acknowledged there were some safety nets to prevent health inequalities widening, citing work by London mayor Boris Johnson to tackle the issue in the capital, and the role of a National Commissioning Board in monitoring the performance of GPs.

But she expressed concern about what might happen in some areas of London where there is poor quality primary care provision, and said questions had to be asked about how responsibility for commissioning services could be handed over to GPs in those areas.