By Deborah RocheThis report summarises finding from policy seminars held by the Institute for Public Policy Research which examined NHS decentralisation and how the NHS and patients might benefit from Primary Care Trusts. The trusts control approximately 75 per cent of NHS funds. It considered PCT performance and makes recommendations for the way forward. It also looked in detail at how patients are managed and how services are being re-shaped as well as considering commissioning services and management of the trusts.
The report concludes that the evidence shows that whilst in theory PCTs have enormous power to reshape local health services, this is not happening in practice. It recommends that PCTs should deliver many activities that used to be higher up as well as lower down the health hierarchy. It also calls for PCTs to invest in health, social and community care, as well as work with social services, local voluntary and community organisations and local authorities.
The report, published by ippr, is available at: http://www.ippr.org.uk/publications/files/pcts%20an%20unfinished%20agenda%20-%20FINAL.doc.pdf