Primary care trusts could be setting commissioning consortia up to fail by denying them development funding, the National Association of Primary Care has claimed.

The NHS operating framework for 2011-12, published in December, specified that commissioning consortia would be allocated a minimum of £2 per registered patient in “development” funding.

The framework said the money should be “used flexibly to fund, for example, clinical backfill, training and organisational development”.

The association said this week that some PCTs were paying consortia less than the minimum by applying a “weighted capitation rather than a crude population approach” – meaning some received less than others, depending on factors such as population deprivation levels.

In a statement coinciding with its national GP led commissioning conference in London, the NAPC said the development of consortia was critical to high quality patient care. 

Reluctance to invest at least the minimum funding specified by the operating framework would “potentially set them up to fail,” it added.

“It is clear… that the current pause was not intended to delay GP commissioning consortia development and NAPC calls on all PCTs to make the appropriate level of resource available with immediate effect,” it said.