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Splitting primary and secondary care budgets is ‘lunacy’

Lead GP says CCGs should control whole budget

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Clinical Commissioning Groups should control both primary and secondary care budgets.

This is the message from GP Dr Michael Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance and president of the NHS Clinical Commissioners.

Speaking this week at the Westminster Health Forum, Dr Dixon, described splitting primary and secondary budgets as ‘lunacy’.

Focusing on financial sustainability, Dr Dixon said the future of the NHS depends on a collective determination to create a primary care led NHS that uses secondary care expertise and technology only when necessary and appropriate, rather than the centralised secondary care led NHS that currently exists.

“It is lunacy expecting Clinical Commissioning Groups to redesign care and extend the ability of community services and general practice to look after patients closer to home, while separating the budget for primary care – which goes to NHS England – from that for commissioning community and hospital services – which goes to CCGs,” Dr Dixon told the Forum.

Dr Dixon said the splitting of primary care and secondary care budgets together with an ‘uncompetitive, payment by results approach’ to funding secondary care, were significant threats to the future success of clinical commissioning.

For clinical commissioners to have the headroom to redesign and extend health services in the radical way they have been asked, Dr Dixon argues that they must control the entirety of the primary and secondary budgets.

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