GPs handed funding powers9th July 2010
GP practices look set to be given responsibility for most health services after plans for a shake-up of the NHS in England were revealed by ministers.
The new role for GPs could see local health trusts and strategic health authorities scaled back with health secretary Andrew Lansley saying that GPs are best placed to understand patients' needs and to decide where money should be spent.
Discussions with GP groups are under way with full details due to be published by the government in a White Paper.
The change is likely to see groups of practices set up that would work together in consortia and buy in management skills as they take over control of more of the NHS budget, which the coalition government has said will be protected from the current round of cutbacks.
Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, said: "We will have to see the details, but there is certainly a willingness to look at this.”
Dr Mike Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance, a group of doctors who support GPs, said: “Staff on the front-line know what is good care and what is bad care. They are more sensitive to the needs of patients and I think this will lead to better outcomes.”
However, the NHS Confederation has expressed reservations at the move.
Acting chief executive Nigel Edwards said there risks in transition to the new system but that he expected many GPs to recruit former staff from PCTs to help them cope with the additional workload.
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Title: GPs handed funding powers
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 15435
Date Added: 9th Jul 2010