Consortia of practice based commissioning GPs should be able to bypass primary care trusts and buy commissioning support from the private sector, the NHS Alliance is demanding.

In its report, In Sickness and in Health, the primary care think tank suggests GPs could use the framework for procuring external support for commissioners to access better information on resource use, referrals and admissions to help strengthen their commissioning.

The report also recommends that GPs take responsibility for commissioning out-of-hours services.

Alliance chair Michael Dixon said the aim of the proposals was not to give practice based commissioning collectives carte blanche to declare independence from PCTs. But he said where collectives were frustrated by poor data, they should be able to access it elsewhere.

See New release date for commissioning review