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SUS 'not fit for purpose'

7th November 2007

The NHS Alliance has criticised the Secondary Uses Service (SUS).

It says SUS is not fit for purpose and is failing to provide GP practices and Primary Care Trusts with the information they need for practice based commissioning (PBC).

The criticism follows the results of the latest quarterly survey of PBC published by the Department of Health. From about 1200 practices surveyed, only one in five rated the information provided by their PCT for PBC as good with more than 40% describing it as fairly or very poor. And 50% of respondents described the managerial support they received from their PCT for PBC as poor.

In addition, one third of GP practices declared that they still did not have an indicative budget for PBC, despite PCT returns which show that virtually all practices have been given a budget.

Dr David Jenner, PBC lead for the NHS Alliance, said: “A critical issue is information at practice level. The Secondary Uses Service is not fit for purpose in its current form and needs substantial improvement.?

He added: “Many practices are not getting any data at all and others are getting in very late and it is often incomprehensible and unreliable.?

The Department of Health survey found that most GPs support PBC and one in three had commissioned services as a direct result.

The NHS Alliance said while there had been some success stories with PBC it claimed the picture was variable around the country and wants to see a breakdown of the survey results by PCT and SHA area.

 

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