The Yorkshire and Humber strategic health authority has informed me that two existing practice-based commissioning consortiums are currently working on behalf of all Doncaster's 45 GP practices. GPs in Doncaster are enthusiastic about the agenda and, in partnership with Doncaster primary care trust, have established a transition team meeting to oversee the process.
Yes, there is something called the "Doncaster commissioning consortium" in Doncaster, which provides clinical leadership to Doncaster PCT when it comes to commissioning. From what I understand from the Government's proposals, as a result of these changes the Doncaster commissioning consortium, made up of the majority of GPs, will have to employ people, either from the PCT or other sectors, to do the budget and management of commissioning. Is this restructuring not just a rebranding to make the Government look as if they are being innovative in health care when in fact they are pouring money down the drain and conducting a restructuring that we just do not need?
May I recommend that the right hon. Lady, who from her past ministerial career is familiar with health issues, study not only the White Paper that we have published, but the documents, particularly on commissioning, that flowed from that, because I am afraid that her interpretation of the situation is wrong? This is a great change from the PCT system, because it will basically ensure that commissioning will no longer be remote but be carried out by GPs at the forefront of dealing with patients' needs and care, who know best how to ensure that patients get the finest and best health care possible.