Prescription for healthier future

IN a move designed to support improvements for more than a quarter of a million patients in the borough a group of GPs have succeeded in becoming one of the country’s first commissioning consortia.

It is part and parcel of changes which will come into force as part of the Government’s White Paper on Health. It means that GPs will become directly responsible for commissioning health services on behalf of their patients.

Newham Health Partnership has 50 practices and around 280,000 patients. As one of the country’s largest and best established GP clusters it is in an ideal position to take on the role of a pathfinder consortium.

Becoming a pathfinder consortium will give GPs in NHP the greatest opportunity to work with local NHS managers, before GP commissioning comes into full force in 2013.

NHP Executive members have already been working with NHS Newham, patients, the local authority and local third sector partners to develop and implement large-scale health service reforms.

Dr Ashwin Shah for NHP said adds: “GPs and other primary care staff have the most regular contact with patients and we have a good understanding of people’s health and care needs. We already play a key role in acting as our patients’ advocates and coordinating care. We can now look at how we can take the next step; deciding which healthcare services to commission on our patients’ behalf.”