STRUCTURE: The primary care trust has said local GPs have mooted the idea they would like to take over the commissioning of mental health services.

The PCT expects a commissioning consortium to be established by April which would be co-terminus with local authority boundaries.

In board papers, director of assurance and development Terry Needle said a GP consortium is expected to be established in shadow form by April 2011 and that a GP workshop had indicated their preferred option at present is to “reflect” the Brighton and Hove local authority boundaries.

Ms Needle also reported the commissioning function that GPs had agreed to take over initially was mental health commissioning. Unscheduled care, long term conditions and planned care have also been discussed, he said.

Non-executive director Janice Robinson described the “choice of mental health for the initial focus for GPs whilst shadowing is a brave one and asked whether there will be an evaluation of the work undertaken”.

Ms Needle said the “GPs believe they understand some of the issues which are significant for the city and feel it would be a good start to learning the commissioning cycle”.