Headlines: April 6th, 2001

The Government’s project to put primary care decision making in the hands of GPs and other hands-on professionals has taken a sizeable step forward with a massive increase in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).The Department of Health has approved a further 124 PCTs, bringing the new number to 164.

In just two years, the percentage of the population whose health care is being delivered by a PCT has risen from zero to 47.7% – 24.3 million people. By 2004, the Government aims to make that 100%.

By 2004, PCTs will have responsibility for at least 75% of the NHS budget. In 1997 GPs were controlling just 15% of NHS spending.

The successful new PCTs had to prove before formal approval that they had a clear vision of the benefits which establishing a PCT would bring, plus broad local support from local doctors and nurse