DOCTORS in Rotherham have formed a new executive group which will run alongside the current primary care trust until it is abolished in 2013.
The Coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Bill will see the PCT’s responsibilities for commissioning health services taken over by GP consortiums.
The proposals present a huge change in the way health services are dealt with, and the new Commissioning Executive has been formed to ensure doctors are well-placed to carry the work forward successfully.
Dr David Tooth, a Rotherham GP and chairman of the Commissioning Executive, said: “This is a huge challenge particularly against the current economic backdrop. We are fortunate that we have a sound health system in Rotherham with many good services and good financial management which provides us with an excellent base from which to start. Over the coming months we will be drawing on the expertise already in the system, especially from our colleagues at NHS Rotherham, to ensure we maintain current high standards and seek improvement wherever possible.”
The Executive is made up of eight GPs representing views from family doctors across Rotherham and will report to the NHS Rotherham board initially, before eventually reporting to the new National Commissioning Board to be based in Leeds.
PCTs will retain their full statutory responsibilities until their abolition in 2013. But the transition period means GPs will have the opportunity to learn more about how the system works with the support of the team at NHS Rotherham before they take over full duties in two years’ time.
Andy Buck, chief executive at NHS Rotherham, said: “We are pleased to be working with an excellent group of clinicians to undertake this important work and early discussions have been extremely positive.
“The running of the NHS is extremely complex and there will be a lot for the new Commissioning Executive to absorb.
“Therefore the next couple of years will be extremely important to ensure the new GP management are equipped to carry out their full duties in April 2013.
“Our staff have embraced the changes and are keen to support GPs in their new roles.”