A GP commissioning “academy” has been launched by the National Association of Primary Care, in partnership with consultants KPMG.

The academy, which the NPAC promises will tap into commissioning expertise from overseas, was launched today at its annual conference in Birmingham.

It follows the Royal College of GPs’ announcement on Monday that it plans to set up a centre for commissioning with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

Moves by both organisations come in response to widespread anxiety expressed by GPs about their lack of expertise in commissioning.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley used much of his speech to the RCGP annual conference earlier this month to reassure delegates they would not be involved in the minutiae of contract management.

KPMG’s global head of health Mark Britnell, and former Department of Health director of commissioning, said he was “excited” about the opportunity to enable those at the “leading edge of GP Commissioning to develop their thinking”.

He said: “KPMG’s global reach will enable us to bring the very best approaches from many countries into the UK where their applicability can be explored by GPs and their teams.”  

NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall said: “We are delighted to have been able to develop plans for the academy with KPMG, a world leading company whose expertise and global connections will bring real benefits to those at the forefront of GP commissioning.”

The association also announced today that it was publishing a commissioning guide with private provider UnitedHealth UK. “The Essential Guide to GP Commissioning” has been developed to “provide an introduction and practical aide for professionals and managers who want to gain an understanding of the emerging new world of GP commissioning”, the NAPC said.