GPs to Receive Commissioning Packs to Improve Efficiency

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced plans to equip GPs with commissioning packs. These will help them design and purchase cardiac rehabilitation services, as well as services for people suffering from dementia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The packs are intended to reduce the administrative burden on GP consortia and to assist commissioners in ensuring that services are both cost-effective and appropriate for local needs.

These packs will include tools and templates for GPs—including existing PCTs and shadow GP commissioning consortia—to use when buying services for their patients. The first support pack is to be for cardiac rehabilitation services. Packs for dementia and COPD care are still being developed, and have been scheduled for release next year.

The cardiovascular pack will include a service specification outlining how to design service to improve patient outcomes, a costing tool to determine money to be saved by implementing that service, and procurement advice and templates, which should cut down the time spent on administration and thus reduce the need to rely on external management support.

This is all intended to cut down on bureaucracy and improve efficiency. This innovative approach, which no doubt contributes to dealing with the recent slashes in the health budget, is being developed by the GP Commissioning Academy—a joint endeavour between the NAPC and KPMG.