The King's Fund welcomes GP pathfinder announcement

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Responding to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's announcement of the first groups of GPs to take the lead in the government’s plans for commissioning health services, The King's Fund Chief Executive Chris Ham said:

'The announcement of the pathfinder areas is good news for the health service. The proposal to shift the bulk of commissioning to GP consortia has potential to improve care but, as we said in response to the NHS White Paper, it is risky and must be tested properly before it is rolled out nationally.

'It is positive that so many groups of GPs have come forward as pathfinders, covering very different populations, both in their natures, size and geography. This gives the government a better chance of learning practical lessons about the different potential models of consortia.

'Effective implementation is the key to success for these reforms. Pathfinders will need the right support, both in resources and expertise, to give them the best chance of succeeding.

'It will also be important that the pathfinders are properly evaluated and the learning is used to inform the future roll-out of consortia.'

Notes to editors

  1. The King's Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.