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A clean slate isn’t enough

Like anyone else, I would want my GP commissioning consortium to start life free from debt. However, I feel Pulse’s A Clean Slate campaign understates the problems we face.

The real risk is that GPs will inherit unaffordable spending plans or will face pressure on their budgets. This means consortia will be running up new debts from day one.

Just as the coalition blames Labour for the state of the nation’s finances, we will, no doubt, blame our PCT predecessors. However, this will not save us from the task of making cuts to balance the books.

GPs should get involved in commissioning now and help PCTs get their house in order before we have to take over. But we shouldn’t delude ourselves that we will find it any easier than PCTs do to keep the books balanced in the years to come.

From Dr Chris Price
GP partner, Norwich, and former PCT chief executive