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PCTs have a mountain to climb

17th July 2008

Richard Vize offers are vision of tough times as Primary Care Trusts strive for world class commissioning standards.

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Primary Care Trusts are facing one of the biggest challenges in their existence as they strive to meet the challenge of world class commissioning.

There are only a few months left before they have to submit their strategic plans but the difficulty of achieving that goal is compounded because of the problems of assembling data.

Many are unable to clearly define where they are at present, which leaves them unable to plot a course to where they need to be.

Some are simply being overwhelmed by the process while others are not clear on how best to use the data they have.

The Department of Health believes it is the PCT boards that hold the key to providing local leadership of the NHS, but some are not even discussing outcomes.

Already the NHS Confederation believes few will make the grade in terms of world class commissioning competencies in the first year.

Platitudes will not suffice, the PCTs have to convey clearly what they intend to do and how.

Strategic health authorities have perhaps not been as helpful as they could have been but PCTs must not allow their confidence to be shaken as they strive for longer-term success.

They are small but powerful in terms of the money they control, but PCTs do have to be prepared for a rough ride in the months ahead as the size of the mountain they must climb becomes clear.

 

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