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GPs in row over pathfinder status

By Laura Passi

GPs have become embroiled in a row with NHS managers after accusing PCT chiefs of interference in the creation of a new commissioning consortium, and blocking their bid for pathfinder status.

GPs in Bolton are unhappy that a larger group has been allowed to achieve pathfinder status in the area while they have been prevented from doing so.

Dr Krishna Korlipara, chair of the Bolton Cooperative Collaborative, which has not achieved pathfinder status, attacked the chief executive of NHS Bolton, Tim Evans, for publically expressing his preference for there to be just one consortium in the town, after the larger Bolton Health Consortium, which has around 40 member practices, was announced in the second wave of pathfinders.

Dr Korlipara said: ‘A PCT chief executive should not express any personal preference as to how many consortia an area should have. Such personal beliefs inevitably cause conflict of interest and raise the issue of the suitability of a person for the job of supporting two consortia even-handedly.’

But Mr Evans defended his impartiality: ‘I do have a view that we should have a single consortium in Bolton. But it is not for me to determine. It is for the GPs to decide what consortium they want to form and then undergo an accreditation process to see if they’re capable of doing that job.’

Dr Anjani Kumar, a GP in Bolton who recently switched to the Bolton Health Consortium, said he believed the Bolton Collaborative Consortium was too small to survive: ‘It has 20,000-25,000 patients. In my opinion it is a non-starter.’

Dr Krishna Korlipara, chair of the Bolton Cooperative Collaborative