South Glos GP consortium chosen as ‘pathfinder’

Posted on Sunday 19th December 2010 at 1:17 pm by SH (Editor)

The GP consortium in South Gloucestershire is one of four groups of GPs in the South West that will take the lead in the Government’s plans for commissioning health services.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced that 52 GP consortia from across England have been selected to be the first to take on commissioning responsibilities as part of the Government’s plans set out in the NHS White Paper ‘Liberating the NHS: Equity and Excellence‘.

The groups selected, known as pathfinders, will work together and with their local Primary Care Trusts to manage their local budgets and commission services for patients direct with other NHS colleagues and local authorities.

A single GP consortium (South Glos Consortium Ltd) that represents all GP practices in South Gloucestershire has been in place for approximately 18 months. Since it began the onsortium has worked with all practices, NHS South Gloucestershire and hospital clinicians to develop services for patients and increase patient choice of treatment and where they receive it.

Work includes developing GP services for both planned and emergency care. Examples of this work include:

  • The use of peer review amongst GPs across the whole of South Gloucestershire and the introduction of a common referral tool to indicate at what point patients should be referred to hospital. These measures ensure consistent practice.
  • A wider range of services in primary care. One example is the development of a community paediatric service delivered by a GP with a special interest in paediatrics that ensures more children can be triaged or treated promptly and safely in a primary care setting. At the end of October, over 280 patients had been seen and treated in the community this financial year who would otherwise have been referred to hospital.
  • Work across all GP practices to introduce care plans for the most vulnerable patients to ensure their care is managed appropriately by all parties across the health community.

Dr Neil Kerfoot, Chairman of the South Gloucestershire Consortium, said: “The Consortium has successfully worked in partnership to improve health services in South Gloucestershire. Becoming a pathfinder and taking on commissioning responsibilities is the next step and we look forward to taking this on.”

Source: NHS South Gloucestershire

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