Adrian Stobie – Principal Consultant in Health
Described as the biggest shake up of the NHS for a decade; Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley’s intention to switch the commissioning of all of England’s health services from the 152 PCTs in England over to 35,000 GPs will present, shall we say, a few challenges - not least of all the Treasury’s acceptance of handing over £80bn to private businesses (every GP in England operates as a private business).
Outside of the Treasury’s deliberations, the challenges this shake up creates are significant and can be described as falling into one of two camps:
- The existing day to day challenges faced by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), as they strive to become World Class Commissioners, will persist. The requirement for effective commissioning, regardless of the form in which it is packaged, must remain.
- The new challenges associated with transferring the accountability and corresponding capability from 152 commissioning organisations to 35,000 GPs – private businesses.
Understanding these challenges is the key to service providers, such as Atos Consulting, understanding how they can best serve their existing clients and those new clients that will inevitably emerge, most likely in the guise of GP consortia. The first camp of challenges is currently being well served, however the second camp will both intensify and magnify the immediate need for excellence in workforce transformation.
Even prior to the publication of the Health Secretary’s eagerly anticipated White Paper detailing his strategy for implementing his vision for the NHS, it is widely acknowledged that: the existing 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) will form into fewer Regional Management Boards; 152 PCTs will transfer accountability to around 500 GP Consortia; and correspondingly 35,000 GPs will combine into around 500 GP consortia.
No matter how you look at this, it is a massive ask, and one requiring fundamental organisational change whilst still delivering on the challenges described in the first camp.
The new organisations that will be the winners in this landscape are those who are prepared to fully embrace Workforce Transformation. This will enable them to develop an efficient workforce, grow future leaders, retain their talent and develop their people in order to both continue to successfully deal with existing challenges whilst taking on the new ones.
At Atos Consulting, our Workforce Transformation Solutions are part of our People and Change focus.
Read more about: People and Change
Related BBC News: GPs to get control of NHS funds in England