Jennifer Taylor's piece entitled 'PMs unit pushes more, but 'fairer', competition' was an important news article however does raise a fundamental question about whether entrenching a more explicit separation of commissioner and provider functions is indeed the right policy.
At the RCN we are concerned that the fragmentation that is occurring as a result of current policy actually undermines the ability to provide seamless and integrated services to patients and continuity of care.
An emerging theme from the discussions we are having with members about how you successfully deliver care closer to home is that commissioning and provider functions need to be closely related and we should examine structural options that can integrate, as oppose to separate, these functions. Perhaps this an issue HSJ might consider exploring further?
Howard Catton, Head of Policy, Royal College of Nursing