COMMISSIONING

Published: 24/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5944 Page 6

The government has been criticised for introducing reforms to the NHS in the 'wrong order'.

NHS Appointments Commission chair Sir William Wells last week told an audience of non-executive directors that the government should have strengthened the role of commissioners at primary care trust-level before introducing other major policy changes.

He told delegates at an NHS Confederation conference that 'the government got it the wrong way round; they should have started with the commissioners so that everyone understood there were two [distinct] sides'.

And he said foundation trusts had been introduced prematurely.

Sir William said the government should have strengthened the role of PCTs before considering 'rolling out patient choice' and that only when this had bedded down should they have 'concentrated on creating foundation trusts'.