Report urges local authorities to take over planning and commissioning of health services

Local authorities should take over the planning and commissioning of local health services, according to a report today by health experts.

Dr Jon Glasby and Professor Judith Smith of Birmingham University’s Health Services Management Centre say councils are better at managing tight budgets, involving local people, and communicating decisions to communities, and play a key role in other services such as social care and schools.

Their report, Creating NHS Local: a new relationship between PCTs and local government, says the provision and management of actual health services should be left to the NHS.

It also says bringing health commissioning under the same body as public transport, recreation and planning would help push forward the government’s public health agenda.

In June, Department of Health adviser Tony Elson said officials charged with increasing social care’s influence over health commissioning were considering giving councils seats on primary care trust boards, although they had not drawn up firm proposals.

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