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Commissioning help for GPs

DoH and NAPC both launch initiatives to help GPs with commissioning

Louise Prime

Friday, 22 October 2010

Commissioning packs will help GPs to design and buy cardiac rehabilitation services, as well as services for people with dementia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), health secretary Andrew Lansley has announced.

Mr Lansley said at the National Association for Primary Care (NAPC) annual conference that the packs should reduce the administrative burden on GP consortia and help commissioners to ensure that services are both cost-effective and appropriate for local needs.

The commissioning packs will include tools and templates for GPs to use when designing and buying services for their patients. The first support pack is for cardiac rehabilitation services, and packs for dementia and COPD care are in development for launch next year.

The cardiovascular rehabilitation pack, suitable for both existing PCTs and shadow GP commissioning consortia, includes:

  • A service specification that sets out how to design services to improve patient outcomes
  • A costing tool that commissioners can use to determine how much money could be saved by implementing the service
  • Procurement advice and templates designed to slash the amount of time spent on administration and reduce the need for GP commissioners to rely on external management support

Andrew Lansley said: “We want to make sure that GPs … do not have to wade through layers of bureaucracy when designing services. This is the first of a series of packs that aim to reduce the time GP consortia will spend on procurement and to easily demonstrate how they can design services that will give patients the best outcomes and use money effectively.

“The pack has been designed with GPs and we expect it to evolve as GPs take on greater responsibility for commissioning.”

Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, a practising GP as well as chief executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, said: “Cardiac rehabilitation […] is a very cost-effective, evidence-based treatment that saves lives, as well as improving the quality of life for many cardiac patients. […] The new commissioning pack will be central to the development of a high quality, comprehensive and patient-centred service model and will no doubt prove an important tool for the new GP-led commissioning consortia.”


The NAPC has joined forces with KPMG to launch a GP Commissioning Academy. The academy will bring GPs and managers together with leading international experts in health care commissioning, to ‘explore innovative approaches to commissioning’.

KPMG’s global head of health, Mark Britnell, said: “KPMG’s global reach will enable us to bring the very best approaches from many countries into the UK where their applicability can be explored by GPs and their teams.”

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