Top NHS interim managers warn against Government plans
- 67% of the UK’s NHS interim managers say that GP led commissioning will not improve service quality in the NHS in a warning against Government plans for reform, reveals Interim Partners, a leading provider of interim management solutions.
The survey of over 110 interim managers who have senior management or board level experience in the NHS, found that 76% of those polled think GP led commissioning will also fail to deliver cost savings.
Interims are senior managers and executives who are recruited on a short-term basis.
Steve Melber, Senior Consultant in Healthcare at Interim Partners, comments: “Interims who are real experts in commissioning health services are sceptical that Government proposals to put GPs in charge of commissioning will improve NHS service delivery or cut costs.”
“This is a worrying indictment, since one of the main drivers of the reforms was to improve service and cut costs by stripping out layers of management. The Government clearly has a big job to do to reassure stakeholders and the public that its reforms are an effective route to a more efficient health service.”
Under the proposed reforms:
· GPs would be handed the power, currently with strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, to procure NHS services.
· Some four-fifths of the £100billion-plus NHS budget would be handled by GPs.
Says Steve Melber: “GPs would be the first to admit that they did not train as medical professionals to become service commissioners. While some will take up the mantle, many do not have the experience or the desire to be put in charge of commissioning healthcare services for their local populations.”
“Interims working in the NHS understand where efficiencies are made and where corners cannot be cut without seriously compromising service delivery. The broad experience they gain from placements throughout the NHS, across primary and secondary care, means they really know what they’re talking about.”
Interim Partners explains that under the proposals, GPs will form consortia to procure across a wider geographical area than their usual practice boundaries.
Steve Melber comments: “GPs will be forced to spend a lot of their time grouping into consortia and building their commissioning expertise and capability. That is time they would otherwise dedicate to patient care and making sure their practices are running effectively.”
Interim Partners points out that the introduction of world class commissioning in the NHS in 2007 resulted in huge demand for interims across primary care trusts.
Steve Melber adds: “Interim managers have helped the NHS radically improve its procurement of health services before. When the transfer of commissioning budgets starts, GP consortia should look to bring in experienced and flexible interim managers to help them effectively commission healthcare services for the patients they serve.”
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