DOCTORS in rural Cheshire would regain control of funds allocated to their practice if Tories are voted into power in the next general election.
Speaking at a healthcare conference in Crewe, Eddisbury MP Stephen O’Brien, from Tarporley, vowed to give “real commissioning budgets” to GPs.
Mr O’Brien, who is also shadow health minister, claimed that by transferring control of funds from Western Cheshire PCT to the GPs themselves, patients would receive a more tailored service.
“By pushing commissioning closer to patients in Cheshire, we will make GPs more responsible for the general health of their population, and for commissioning better patient pathways,” he said.
“We are going to give local GPs real commissioning budgets, not the indicative budgets they currently hold. Conservatives believe in localism and our plans will allow GPs to become the commissioners of services for their patients.”
Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust spokeswoman Anne-Marie Storey said the organisation was apolitical.
She said: “The Government and the other major political parties all recognise the need to involve GPs in decisions about the investment of NHS resources. This is because GPs and their teams are uniquely placed to understand the needs of their patients.
“It is our job to enable them to do this work. The Primary Care Trust has supported the development of the local GP Consortium which is made up of 38 GP practices which advises on all our commissioning decisions and is responsible for the drugs budget and hospital referral budget delegated to it by the PCT.”