PCT Network

Construction site new building

Exclusive: national company to take over PCT estate

A new national property company is to be set up by the government to manage the primary care trust estate, HSJ understands.

Microscopic IVF treatment image

Fertility treatment bans reversed by PCTs

A number of primary care trusts which imposed tight restrictions on infertility treatment have now reversed the policy.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley

Lansley to announce 'ban' on minimum waiting times

The health secretary is to announce a “ban” on primary care trusts setting minimum waiting times for procedures, with the threat of “removing the chair of the PCT” if it is broken.

GP treating a patient

GPs underperforming on quality and outcomes face 'serious questions'

Scores of GP practices in deprived areas are consistently failing to demonstrate clinical quality under a national incentive scheme, analysis by HSJ has found.

Barristers' wigs

Legal costs could see CCGs allowances 'wiped out'

Clinical commissioning groups are being warned they could be “wiped out” by legal challenges made by providers or resulting from service reconfigurations, treatment decisions and contract awards.

A crowded city street

One in seven CCG populations too small for authorisation

One in seven emerging clinical commissioning groups could be asked to reform because they are too small, HSJ research suggests.

PCTs have legacy of 'significant improvement' despite challenges

PCT legacy shows 'significant improvement' despite challenges

Primary care trusts have overseen improvement and were further “maturing” before their abolition was announced, an NHS Confederation report says.

HSJ's map of consortia

Cluster landscape shows 52 commissioners

Primary care trusts are clustering into 52 commissioners across England – ranging from a £4.7bn giant to an £800m standalone PCT.

GP talking to young girl patient

PCT Network responds to choice complaints

Commissioners accused of breaking competition rules were either abiding by guidance or justified by an obligation to “maximise benefits to patients and taxpayers”, according to the Primary Care Trust Network.

Exclusive: Commissioners curtailing outpatient rise

Exclusive: Commissioners curtail soaring referrals

Figures revealing outpatient appointments are set to rise by just 1 per cent this year are being hailed as proof that commissioners have finally curtailed spiralling referrals.

A doctor's coat with hand in pocket

Pace of consortia handovers varying widely

A quarter of primary care trusts are racing ahead to hand over commissioning budgets while a third have no clear plans to “let go”.

A calculator amid UK banknotes

PCT overspending sparks fresh efficiency fears

Twenty-five primary care trusts have overspent their 2010-11 budgets by a total of £145m so far this financial year, an HSJ investigation has found.

hospital sign

Readmission savings plan softened

Commissioners face having to redraw their budgets after changes to emergency readmission policy.

David Stout

PCTs identify roles to hand on speedily

Primary care trusts should be allowed to give up responsibility for maintaining lists of all GPs working in their area, as well as a range of other duties, as soon as possible, according to the Primary Care Trust Network.

Surgery

PCTs restrict many treatments as overspend looms

Treatment restrictions such as bans on “low priority” procedures or tough referral thresholds are now common across the NHS, HSJ has established.

PCTs' grip on local priorities being 'eroded'

PCT grip on local priorities being 'eroded'

The PCT Network has called on the Department of Health to reduce the “central direction” of primary care trusts to a minimum in the operating framework.

PCTs have "no excuse" not to fine trusts over mixed sex accommodation

Smaller fines for mixed sex accommodation

Commissioners have been given the freedom to impose smaller penalties on trusts which breach rules on mixed sex accommodation, but told they have “no excuse” not to impose the fines.

Barbara Hakin

Commissioning consortia told to buy in admin support

Department of Health commissioning lead Dame Barbara Hakin has said commissioning consortia should outsource many of the responsibilities inherited from primary care trusts.

A minister and senior Department of Health official both hinted that strategic health authority surpluses will be used to ensure GP consortia do not start life saddled with primary care trust debts.

Hint at debt free start for commissioning consortia

A minister and senior Department of Health official both hinted that strategic health authority surpluses will be used to ensure commissioning consortia do not start life saddled with primary care trust debts.

SHAs to set senior managers' pay of aspirant CFTs

SHAs to set senior managers' pay at aspirant CFTs

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson’s decision to leave aspirant community foundation trust pay decisions with strategic health authorities could be a barrier to appointments, unions have warned.