STRUCTURE: The primary care trust’s chief executive has unveiled plans to hand responsibility for commissioning secondary and community health care services to an emergent GP consortium.

Helen Bellairs, who has been joint chief executive of Warrington and NHS Western Cheshire since late 2010, told the board she believed that the PCT “now needs a different set of governance and accountability arrangements to help manage the transition, and allow me to fulfil my joint accountable officer role and manage the ‘Bridge’ for both NHS Warrington and NHS Western Cheshire”.

She proposed to hand Sarah Baker, lead director of Warrington Health Consortium, delegated authority for commissioning, contracting, oversight and performance management of providers of:

· Secondary care;

· Community health care services;

· Services commissioned jointly with the local authority (including learning disability and mental health services)

She also proposed to hand Ms Baker delegated authority for strategy and operational plans for these services.

The PCT, under this plan, would maintain direct control of primary care services, tertiary, specialised, and collective services, and public health services.

Warrington Health Consortium does not yet have “pathfinder” status, but aims to achieve it by April this year, Ms Bellairs’ report states.

Ms Bellairs said she would bring further information to Warrington’s next board business meeting in march, with a final decision on her plans slated for the board’s formal meeting in April.