"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Lansley's plans will cost £1.2bn

I have posted before that Andrew Lansley intends to start his privatisation of the NHS by bringing in GP commissioning. GPs are private businesses, so to give GPs the responsibility to determine how 80% of NHS funds are spent (including how much of it is spent on themselves) is foolish at best, but it is a message to us all that Lansley hates NHS providers.

At the moment commissioning decisions in England are made by the 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). In an attempt to save costs PCTs are looking to merge together as federations. The idea is "economies of scale", if they federate - several PCTs sharing facilities as PCT "clusters" - then they can save on management costs. Sounds sensible, right?

Andrew Lansley disagrees. He wants the 35,000 GPs to perform commissioning. Of course GPs know nothing about commissioning so the idea is that they create commissioning "consortia" of GP practices that cover between 30,000 and 100,000 patients. This will result in about 500 commissioning consortia in England.

Where's the economies of scale? From 152 PCTs to 500 GP commissioning consortia. Won't that cost more? Of course it will. The Health Service Journal says that it will cost £1.2bn more. Perhaps we should be putting that money into healthcare rather than spending it on ideological attacks on our precious NHS?

get in touch with your MP and tell him/her that GP commissioning will cost the NHS £1.2bn and so it is a bad idea in times of austerity.l

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