General Practitioners

Health written question – answered at on 9 March 2011.

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Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals for GP consortia he has received to date from organisations in (a) Wolverhampton, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and what criteria he plans to use to assess such proposals.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Health and Social Care Bill 2011 will provide for general practitioner (GP) consortia to be established from April 2012, prior to taking on full statutory responsibilities from April 2013. The Department has established a rolling programme of GP consortia pathfinders to test the different elements involved in GP-led commissioning and enable emerging GP consortia to get more rapidly involved in current commissioning decisions.

Groups of GP practices keen to participate in the pathfinder programme put themselves forward to their strategic health authority (SHA). There are no pathfinder consortia in Wolverhampton and 16 in the West Midlands. In England; there are 177 pathfinders in total.

SHAs have been responsible for managing the selection process for pathfinders. Although some SHAs have applied certain additional criteria, the expectation has been that all applications to join the programme will be accepted unless they are unable to demonstrate: evidence of strong GP leadership and support; evidence of local authority support; or an ability to deliver on local Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programmes.

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