Chair of West Northumberland Practice-Based Commissioning Group
• I became chair of our PBC consortium because I was the last person standing after everyone else had stepped back!
• If I wasn’t chair I would have much more time to spend with my family and walk our three dogs in the Northumberland countryside.
• I spend a lot of hours thinking about how local health services could be improved. I am paid for some of those hours.
• Still learning is the phrase that sums up our PCT’s attitude to PBC.
• Generally enthusiastic is the phrase that sums up local GPs’ attitude to PBC.
• Supportive and willing to engage was the initial attitude of our local acute trust – consultants and managers have been keen to work together with primary care.
• Our greatest achievement as a consortium is our work with end-of-life care. We have developed a whole-systems approach to the care of dying patients and have worked with patients and other care providers to iron out any obstacles and deliver care according to patients’ wishes.
• My greatest achievement has been taking West Northumberland to the finals of the PBC Vision Awards at the NAPC annual conference last year.
• The most frustrating thing about PBC is the bureaucracy and time taken to implement obvious, simple improvements.
• The biggest threat to PBC’s success is apathy within primary care nationwide.
• I am optimistic that PBC will lead to better partnership working in the NHS, increased efficiency and improvements to services for patients.
• PBC would be transformed overnight if PBC groups were given control of real – and realistic – commissioning budgets.
• In five years’ time PBC will either be dead in the water or leading commissioning in the NHS.
• In five years’ time I will probably still be trying to work out how this year’s PBC budgets were set!
Dr David Shovlin Dr David Shovlin