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PCT and SHA clusters will ‘retain financial control’


11 November 2011

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PCT and SHA clusters will remain in place post April 2013 under a different name to retain financial control over GP commissioning, it is claimed.

Chris Calkin, Chair of the Policy Committee at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, said PCT and SHA clusters have to remain to ensure financial control of commissioning.

"The risk of putting all that money into the hands of GPs is not something that will be tolerated," he said.

PCT and SHA clusters will remain in place post April 2013 under a different name to retain financial control over GP commissioning, it is claimed.

Chris Calkin, Chair of the Policy Committee at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, said PCT and SHA clusters have to remain to ensure financial control of commissioning.

"The risk of putting all that money into the hands of GPs is not something that will be tolerated," he said.

"PCT and SHA clusters will need to perform checks and balances to ensure financial control is maintained."

PCT and SHA clusters will remain in place post April 2013 under a different name to retain financial control over GP commissioning, it is claimed.

Chris Calkin, Chair of the Policy Committee at the Healthcare Financial Management Association, said PCT and SHA clusters have to remain to ensure financial control of commissioning.

"The risk of putting all that money into the hands of GPs is not something that will be tolerated," he said.

"PCT and SHA clusters will need to perform checks and balances to ensure financial control is maintained."

Calkin argued that if the clusters do not remain and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) underperform, it could lead to "stupid short-term decisions" being made, ie further slashes to budgets.

"The clusters are needed to ensure the commissioning reforms are sustainable," he said.

 

A spokesperson from the Department of Health told GPB: "SHA and PCT clusters are a transitional arrangement and will be abolished in 2013, subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, when Clinical Commissioning Groups will take over." 

The DH claims the only situation in which the National Commissioning Board – or its outposts – would retain financial control over CCGs would be if they failed the authorisation process or were authorised with conditions.

PCT and SHA clusters have been committed to the initial organisation of the NHS Commissioning Board "being based on the same geographical areas as the 4 SHA clusters and 50 PCT clusters". 

The same spokesperson told GPB "this would not be a statutory tier, just a layer of the single organisation that is the NHSCB, which could change its arrangements over time." 

 

Speaking at the Wellards Annual Conference held in the Royal College of Physicians yesterday (9 November) Calkin, who also serves as the Finance Director for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, expressed his concern that GPs are failing to see "the bigger picture" on how some of the larger hospitals in the UK are funded.

"It isn't the changes that are being made that I'm struggling with but the pace of change. We need time to reorganise," he said.

"We are not going to be able to complete this reorganisation in time for the CCG handover and that is what I'm worried about."

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"How will GP commissioners remain impartial when they are part of the provider supply network – NHS Commissioning Board of the former SHAs/PCTs should be statutory to ensure open and transparency of the public financial purse" – Martin Carr, Cheshire

"Yes but in a downsized cluster arrangement and one which compliments and does not duplicate NHSCB new structure. Clearly the CCG's will need mentoring in the short medium and long term. Lets not kid ourselves that GPs have all the answers to the current "problems" in local commissioning. In fact they could quickly add to them.CCGs refering to Ex PCT's & SHA clusters and the NHSCB oversight might just achieve both a reduction in staff numbers and better governance" – Name and address withheld

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