PCTs to survive as outposts

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson has said primary care trust (PCT) clusters will remain in place after 2013 as “local arms of the NHS Commissioning Board”. However, he indicated many jobs would still be lost. The Department meanwhile has confirmed that the NHS Commissioning Board ‘is best placed to commission’ dentistry.


In a letter to the NHS Sir David said: “After April 2013, these local arms would oversee commissioning groups that have been authorised and would also commission some of those services, such as primary care, which are directly commissioned by the board.”

Sir David also confirmed strategic health authorities will group into four clusters from October. They will later become structures of the commissioning board, which will be established in “shadow form” also in October.

The letter said the board’s regional and local outposts would “secure opportunities for many staff” but warned that, because they would have “significantly less capacity than PCT and SHA clusters”, many PCT staff would still “want to consider opportunities for moving to clinical commissioning groups or establishing commissioning support providers”.

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