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PBC not improved patient care

17th May 2007

A survey of GPs and practice managers has found that many feel practice-based commissioning is not improving patient care.

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From the findings, it also emerged that GPs felt PBC was suffering from a lack of support from primary care trusts.

The research was conducted by the King’s Fund - an independent charitable foundation working for better health - and the NHS Alliance, among more than 250 GPs and practice managers.

Of those who responded, 53% thought the policy had not improved the quality of patient care at all, while18% felt that PBC had improved the quality of care to some extent but only 1% of GPs and practice managers said that it had improved care to “a great extent.?

When asked about how they felt about the support the policy was getting from PCTs, 33% said it was poor and 37% said it was “not very good.?

The report titled “Practice-Based Commissioning: from good idea to effective practice? also looked at the issue of mutually agreed budgets for practices.

Launched at the NHS Alliance Spring Conference, the document calls for more time, resources and staff to carry out PBC and also recommends that PCTs produce an annual report detailing improvements made through PBC.

Yet it also showed that 73% of GPs were committed to PBC, and 54% expected it to improve patient care next year.

Report co-author Dr Richard Lewis from the King’s Fund said: “We should be optimistic that PBC can deliver better care to patients and more cost-effective services. But this reform may fail if PCTs do not provide GPs with the right support.?

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