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Dr Oliver Bernath describes a PCT-commissioned scheme involving six practices and his company.
Last month, when the 16 DoH-sponsored integrated care pilots (ICPs) were announced, Integrated Health Partners (IHP), the healthcare company which I work for, had already started a local ICP.
Called Guildford IHP, our one-year pilot involves six practices and a patient population of 73,000 and began operation in January 2009. It was commissioned by innovative NHS Surrey, which pressed on with integrated health ahead of the DoH programme.
The national programme is great but should not stop any keen and ready GP group from negotiating a local pilot.
Integrated care gives PCTs the option to go beyond practice-based commissioning (PBC) and really make GPs accountable for their budgets It is also an opportunity for GPs to shape their own and their services' future.
The PCT pays an allowance to the pilot practices and IHP and provides some funding …