‘Taking on funding GPs will be good news for patients’

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THE group that funds healthcare in Fareham taking on running GP services will be good for patients.

Dr David Chilvers, who heads the group, says the expanded role is a positive step.

The Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group will now have duties including funding primary care, approving practice mergers and doing reviews of primary medical care in the area.

Dr Chilvers said at a board meeting: ‘We already buy most of the NHS services patients may need, such as those provided in hospitals, health centres, the community or in their own homes – so we think it makes perfect sense for us to commission GP services too.

‘It will allow us to plan, develop and deliver more local services and, we hope, give patients a bigger opportunity to have a say in how this should happen.

‘Most patients probably won’t notice any change in services at their GP practice in the near future.

‘But for us, it means we can deliver the kind of integrated and joined-up care, in and out of hospital, closer to people’s homes, that patients have been telling us they want to see. As a result, we strongly believe it will make the NHS more efficient, lead to better services and result in a much-improved patient experience.’

This message has been echoed by Dr Jim Hogan, head of the Portsmouth CCG and Dr Barbara Rushton, lead for South Eastern Hampshire CCG.

They have set up a body called the Committees in Common to make decisions.

It will hold its first meeting in public on June 3, at the Havant Plaza in Hurstwood Road, between 2pm and 4pm.

Portsmouth CCG has created a Primary Care Co-Commissioning Reference Group.

This will debate issues and make recommendations that will go before the usual governing board meetings that are held in public.