Editor’s blog Thursday 29 July 2010: Commissioning in action
This BBC News story trailling a Radio 4 The Report broadcast this evening, shows commissioning in action. It also functions as a free ad for the European Scanning Centre. And it describes a wholly sensible approach to GP-led commissioning, which will destabilise local acute providers.
What's not to like?
True, the commissioning is not wildly sophisticated. Wildly sophisticated commissioning would be getting a London-wide (or at least multi-PCT-wide) contract for appropriate, targetted CT scans.
And it might be significantly more ambitious in getting the price down.
(Declaring an interest, I had one of those scans a few years back. I'd actually had a sharp chest pain a few months before, and jumped at the chance of a PR freebie. Apparently, there was nothing technically wrong with my heart - save a metaphorical hardening, from years in journalism. Which was nice to know.)
Overall, you can't fault this. It is about better, cheaper, safer care. The South London Trust is going to have to look very hard at the viability of its sites, especially in the light of this comment in NHS Greenwich's strategy document: "Our strategy requires significant change in the local healthcare provider market. Primary care and NHS providers will need to deliver considerable productivity and efficiency improvements. The radical transformation of the whole healthcare system will reduce hospital based activity and shift specific treatments from acute hospitals to community based poly-systems. This will have a reducing impact on the income to hospital providers".