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04-08-2011 | General practice | Article

PCT cluster milestones set


Department of Health – Shared Operating Model for PCT Clusters

The Department of Health has issued detailed guidance for PCT clusters, setting out month-by-month milestones that it says will support the transition to GP-led commissioning.

The Shared Operating Model for PCT Clusters, which was co-produced with the NHS, outlines a timetable for PCT clusters in six key areas ahead of the establishment of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

CCGs, under the auspices of the NHS Commissioning Board, will be the "engine room of the new system," according to the model. And clusters will have a "crucial role" in supporting the development of the system "at the fastest pace possible".

The 9-month timetable paves the way for a single national approach and states that clusters are expected to play a "key role in developing this shared inclusive leadership".

By September 2011, clusters must name staff members involved in commissioning; by October, GP practices must be within an "emerging viable CCG" and all CCGs must have completed a "self-diagnostic" review to identify further needs.

Clusters must be ready to transfer their functions to the NHS Commissioning Board by March 2012; by April they must be delivering at least three "any qualified provider" services.

The timetable runs to May 2012, by which time all CCGs should be "fully functioning", according to the document. PCTs are set for abolition in 2013.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Joanna Lyford