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Scrapping trusts 'could damage patient care'

8 years ago207 views



Abolishing primary care trusts (PCTs) in one go could damage patient care, a report has said.

Getting rid of the trusts - as set out in the Government's white paper - could cause delays to treatment, according to the think tank Civitas.

Its study - A Risky Business - calls for a more "incremental approach" to reform, warning the Health Secretary's plans could undermine hopes of making efficiency savings in the NHS, worth up to £20 billion by 2015.

It follows suggestions that PCTs are currently in "meltdown" over the policy, which will see most of the NHS budget transfer into the hands of GPs, who will be responsible for commissioning health services for patients.

Written by James Gubb, director of the Civitas health unit, the document poses 12 questions for Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin, who is to scrutinise the new health policy.

It says it is "very uncertain" that the wholesale abolition of PCTs by 2013 in favour of groups of GPs will bring about significantly improved commissioning in the short, medium or long-term.

Patients are likely to suffer delays in getting treatment while the reforms are carried out and will not necessarily get improved care in the future, it says.

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