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News: Commissioning Live Manchester

News: Commissioning Live Manchester

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Healthcare leaders from across England gathered in Manchester this week to share best practice and local innovative schemes at Commissioning Live. 

Discussions between clinical commissioning group (CCG) leads and representatives of NHS England, the General Medical Council (GMC) and commissioning support units ranged from the future of federations to co-commissioning, the Challenge Fund and integrated care. 

Practices in one area could be awarded for providing longer appointments for patients with a range of conditions as part of a quality and outcomes framework overhaul, one panel revealed. 

Dr Sarah Schofield, chair of West Hampshire CCG said they are looking into developing an incentives scheme for practices. 

She said: "We started by asking our GPs and our members what they thought of QOF currently and asked them about the areas they would want to see improved - such as being able to bunch QOF into a series of long-term conditions type work, would perhaps give opportunities to develop what seems beneficial locally. 

"What we might be interested in saying is, for all our long-term conditions, practices need to have half-hour appointments with patients and they would have to do that three or four times a year." 

Many clinical commissioning groups are being vague about replacing QOF "on purpose", Dr Graham Jackson, the clinical chair of Aylesbury Vale CCG told the crowd. However, he did agree that there will be opportunities to bundle incentives together for practices. 

The seven-day access scheme for general practice was criticised at Commissioning Live, too. 

Dr Joe McGilligan, chair of East Surrey CCG said that the scheme is "just another vote winner" for the government, before the election. He believes that there may not be enough funding to sustain extended access. 

Every year before an election the government says "we'll make access to general practice much easier", Dr McGilligan claimed. 

Keynote speakers at Commissioning Live included Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and NHS England head of primary care development Dr Richard Varnham. 

For more information on the event visit the Commissioning Live website

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