Few in the NHS are as well placed as GPs to respond to patients' needs
Consultants appreciate that few in the NHS are as well placed as GPs to respond to patients' needs and one of the problems has been PCTs' lack of clinical knowledge.
But unsurprisingly, we also see the role of secondary care as crucial, and want to see it firmed up. Successful commissioning can only be achieved when GPs, consultants and public health doctors work together effectively.
Effective commissioning depends on a strong evidence base, which consultants and academics are well placed to establish. Our concern is that it's unclear where we're going to find the time to feed into the commissioning process.
Consultants aren't under the illusion that everything in the white paper is positive, but there are opportunities, and one is the prospect of closer working with our GP colleagues.
Dr Keith Brent is deputy chair of the BMA Consultants CommitteeDr Keith Brent