The main event this week was the publication by the Department of Health of the Functions of GP Commissioning Consortia.
This is a working document and it sets out:
- the proposed statutory duties of consortia; what it describes as the “must dos”
- the proposed statutory powers; these are the things that consortia have the freedom to do if they wish to help them achieve their statutory duties
- it also contains illustrative examples of how this could look in the future
A couple of the headlines from the document include:
- consortia will be responsible for commissioning health care services across a range of areas, including:
- community health services (except where part of the public health service)
- maternity services
- elective hospital care
- urgent and emergency care including A&E, ambulance and out-of-hours services
- older people’s healthcare services
- healthcare services for children, including those with complex healthcare needs (except for those specialised services commissioned by the NHS commissioning board)
- rehabilitation services
- wheelchair services
- healthcare services for people with mental health conditions
- healthcare services for people with learning disabilities
- continuing healthcare
- consortia may agree to commission some health improvement services jointly with local authorities. This could include, for example, obesity, smoking cessation and drug/alcohol services. In some cases, the NHS CB may be asked to commission a service on behalf of Public Health England and may in turn arrange for consortia to commission the service on its behalf.
This document is a must read for GPs developing consortia and can be accessed at http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/new-guide-gp-consortia/
NHS Direct patient decision aids
Next to something that’s worth checking out. NHS Direct have developed a number of patient decision aids. So far, they have completed decision aids for benign prostatic hyperplasia, knee arthritis and localised prostate cancer.
They are also piloting decisions aids for breast cancer, antenatal screening and PSA screening as well as developing hip osteoarthritis, cataract, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening and repair and end stage renal failure decision aids. It’s well worth a look.