Hewitt axes many PCTs
 

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Hewitt axes many PCTs

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Hewitt axes many PCTs

 

Hewitt axes many PCTs

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced a reorganisation of Primary Care Trusts (PCT) with a reduction in number, from 303 to 152.

This gives the new organisations autonomy to commission the best services, based on the needs of patients, and best value for money for taxpayers.

The decision was based on local public consultations, held by 28 existing Strategic Health Authorities, and a commissioned patient-led NHS consultation, which ended in March.

The new PCTs, which will be established from October, will be closely aligned with local authority boundaries and will work closely with the NHS and social services covering the same areas. All patients’ needs will be considered, and it will avoid any unnecessary duplication.

Patricia Hewitt said: ‘These changes will also put more power into the hands of GPs and other frontline NHS staff and give them a greater say on how services can be delivered around the needs of their patients.’

‘I have spent a great deal of time considering local views and concerns about the reconfiguration and have not been afraid to respond to these concerns in my final decision. These changes make it clear that there is now a blueprint for PCTs across the country and the final decisions reflect a range of views and will deliver the best for patients in all parts of the country.
‘’These changes are a key part of our health reforms and shift the focus from hospitals to community based care. Our improvements have so far concentrated on hospitals, but nearly 90% of patients' experience of the NHS takes place in GP practices, healthcare centres and social care agencies.’

Better value

She added that the new PCTs will deliver better value for money, through greater purchasing power and lower administrative costs. ‘In the next two years I expect to see annual savings of £250m to plough back into front line services,’ she said.

The British Dental Association (BDA) welcomes the reorganisation because ‘it gives dentistry the opportunity for a closer
relationship with the wider NHS securing the future of NHS dentistry and its management.’

However the BDA warned that PCTs have little experience of dentistry, and fewer left to carry out their new role.

The association recommend that the dental profession is represented at the highest level within a PCT, and proposed a system of Managed Dental Networks (MDN) to allow for the integration of dentistry within PCTs. The intention being that they would be on hand to deliver clinically and cost effective primary care dental services to patients.

 Posted on : Wed 7th - Jun - 2006

 

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