New indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) will place greater than ever demands on PCTs at a time when the resources available to support primary care are scarcer than ever. Delegates at a PCC event on the GMS contract voiced concerns about lack of support and unreliable secondary care data.
At the event in April, practice managers, GPs and PCT managers were given a guided tour of the latest changes to the GP contract with particular emphasis on the new quality and productivity indicators.
PCTs should apply a light touch to new arrangements for patient participation in GP practices, according to one of the authors of the guidance.
Dr Mike Warburton, who helped draft the new patient participation directed enhanced service (DES) while at the Department of Health, said that the changes are in line with the thrust of DH policy around listening to patients.
The NHS reforms came at the right time for the North Somerset consortium where PBC was already beginning to implode.
Mary Backhouse, former PEC chair and now consortium chief executive, says: “A lot of people who had been involved in locality groups, PCGs, things like that, walked away from practice based commissioning.”
Among the reasons were impatience at the rate of change, or lack of it, and a sense that the obstacles were immovable. The biggest problem, she believes, was lack of engagement not only among GPs but with other clinicians and colleagues.
Networks for primary care trust premises leads in the midlands are working to make the valuation process for GP practices more robust and cost-effective.
The initiatives reflect a coming together of PCT premises professionals in the West and East Midlands.
With more practices lodging costly appeals against valuations provided by the District Valuation Service, and other issues around reimbursement of rents, both networks are working to develop tools and improve processes.