PCTs are starting to involve GPs in commissioning decisions as they prepare to hand over the reins in 2013, LMC leaders say. But they warned that the level of consultation with GPs, and its effectiveness, is variable.
Dr John Canning, secretary of Cleveland LMC, said GP involvement in PCT decisions ‘varies from place to place’. But he said the PCTs in his area have involved GPs in decisions about the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda, as well as how to make the required 40 per cent reductions in management costs.
Dr John Grenville, secretary of Derbyshire LMC, said the county’s PCTs consulted the LMC about procedures it no longer wanted to commission. ‘The PCTs in Derbyshire have always tried hard to involve GPs and the PBC consortia,’ Dr Grenville said. ‘But I think PCTs are now trying even harder to ensure some degree of GP input.’
Dr Jane Lothian, secretary of Northumberland LMC said: ‘GPs have always been fairly involved in various PCT commissioning activity. ‘But because the PCT is having to make management cost savings means it has been very receptive to GP input.’
However, in other areas, particularly where practice-based commissioning is not well advanced, GPs are yet to be involved in PCT decisions, she said.