• How to work with your overview and scrutiny committee – a guide for clinical commissioners

    7 June 2011

    Subject to the outcome of the ’pause’, 132 local authorities have already been identified as early implementers of the reforms, creating shadow health and wellbeing boards in their councils.

    Given that the listening exercise has at least partly been engineered by unhappy Liberal Democrats, who have championed local authority control over the NHS, the influence of local authorities seems likely to emerge if anything, stronger. The importance of the relationship between the NHS and the local authority is therefore greater than ever.

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  • Any qualified provider myth buster

    6 June 2011

    The following points are designed to clarify AQP as we now understand it. Further clarification may be needed following the outcome of the government’s listening exercise.

    AQP will mean competition on price
    Prices will be fixed – all providers will be paid the same. Providers will compete on quality alone.

    Quality and Safety of services will suffer
    There will be a transparent and rigorous process for qualifying providers. Safety and quality of services will be paramount.

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  • Necessity breeds invention in North Somerset

    5 June 2011

    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.

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  • Midlands leads the way on premises

    4 June 2011

    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.

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  • Premises costs: A minefield of opportunity

    4 June 2011

    Primary care premises costs are a minefield.

    The good news is that PCTs seeking to strengthen their financial positions before handing over to GP consortia could make substantial savings by putting their houses in order. The bad news is that with pressure on resources and a continuing drain of expertise from PCTs, tackling a complex and potentially controversial area may be seen as a low priority.

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