STRUCTURE: A GP consortium in Kingston has written to the chief executive for their cluster demanding to be “dealt with fairly” and revealing they intend to use consultancy KPMG for their 2011/12 development plan.

The Kingston GP Consortium wrote to Ann Radmore saying: “We have concerns that centralisation and a focus on the cluster may hinder the commissioning development of the Kingston GP Pathfinder.

“Recent attempts to limit the ability of pathfinders to influence commissioning and contracting around London Ambulance and the inpatient mental health are not welcome or supported and we look to the south west London chief executive to give the Pathfinders support in the development of these services for our population.”

It added: “KGPC will be supported by KPMG to develop their plan for 2011/12 and will be able to use the £2 per head funding from April. We are looking for support from the south west London cluster chief executive over the appropriate use of the £2 per head for pathfinder development.
“This is to create a permissive framework to enable local decision making. KGPC will account to the SWL chief executive for the use of the money.
“The cluster team will ensure that KGPC receives robust development support to enable it to progress as a pathfinder and to become a statutory body.”

The GPs also said the “special place Kingston has achieved [must be] acknowledged in fact as well as in aspiration” with regard to the One Kingston partnership with the local authority.

The letter, dated February 10, said: “Key planned steps will continue to include joint posts between KGPC, SWL cluster and the Royal Borough of Kingston, sharing resources and functions, delegating budgets from KGPC to RBK under the appropriate section of the Health and Social Care Bill, to facilitate the integration of health and social care and development of the Kingston Health and Well Being Board.”

The letter, signed by Dr Charles Alessi, Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée, David Smith, Dr Nazim Jivani, Dr Phil Moore, Bruce McDonald and Derek Osbourne, also said the cluster would “delegate budgets to KGPC as promptly as possible without top-slicing except in truly exceptional circumstances.”

It asked for “an indicative time line of mental health, medicines management and community budgets” in April and the acute budget in October, saying “The SWL cluster will provide the maximum level of support to enable these timelines to be achieved.”

Minutes of NHS Kingston’s Clinical & Management Leadership meeting in January saw the committee told: “The £2 per head of population development money would only be available from 1 April 2011 and could not be retrospectively claimed.”