King’s Fund warns of weak commissioning in some PCTs

Primary care trusts currently lack the ability and the incentives to meet the government’s ambitions to shift care out of acute settings into the community, a King’s Fund report this week claims.

The paper says commissioning is too weak in a number of PCTs for them to invest in community services that prevent people from needing acute care, while performance targets for trusts set by strategic health authorities also emphasise the hospital sector.

The DH’s current reform programme for PCTs is designed to strengthen their commissioning function by reducing their number to increase their size and curbing their role in providing services.

But the report says the DH will have to reduce the emphasis on acute care in PCTs’ performance regimes and invest in commissioning skills to achieve this result.

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