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GP commissioning (or is it just PCTs by another name?)

OK, as you've probably figured out by now, I have only the flimsiest grasp of what the Brave New World of commissioning is all about. And I was never that brilliant at maths. But bear with me.

PCTs cover populations of around 330,000, on average. Just hold onto that figure for a moment. Because the hot commissioning news is that some pathfinders are getting edgy about risk management and are therefore planning to link together to form federations – to quote the headlines, they plan to ‘Share risks and boost negotiating power'.

So far, so good. But let's look at the stats, using five consortia in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan as an example. They've just joined up into one shiny, happy pathfinder federation. Population: 373,740.

Hang on. 330,000. 373,740. Spot the difference? No, nor can I. It looks like commissioning has just managed to re-invent PCTs. Without the trusted management structure, of course, and with all the responsibility.

Federations? United States of Dystopia, more like.



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