‘Health care should become council-run’

Councils should take over the planning and commissioning of health services from primary care trusts, according to health experts.

Councils are better at managing tight budgets and involving local people, and play a key role in other services such as social care, argue Dr Jon Glasby and professor Judith Smith of Birmingham University’s Health Services Management Centre
in a new report.

They said that bringing health commissioning under the same roof as public transport, recreation and planning would help push forward the government’s public health agenda. But the provision and management of actual health services should be left to the NHS.

The report follows claims in July by government adviser Tony Elson that Department of Health officials were considering giving councils seats on primary care trust boards, although they had not drawn up firm proposals (news, page 14, 13 July).

● Creating NHS Local: A New Relationship between PCTs and Local Government from http://www.hsmc.bham.ac.uk/news/Whatsnew.htm#LocalHS/

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