Managers prepare for PCGs with £9m boost

22 Oct 98
The health department has given shadow primary care groups (PCGs) an extra £9m to help them prepare for their takeover of care purchase from health authorities next April.

23 October 1998

The money will enable the new units to recruit staff and to pay board members, health minister Alan Milburn said last week. It will be in addition to the £22m start-up allocation announced earlier in the year. The minister added that PCGs' chief executives should receive a salary of between £35,000 and £50,000 a year.

Karen Caines, the director of the Institute of Health Services Management (IHSM), welcomed the news. She said: 'With the advent of PCGs only five months away, it is crucial to get proper management in place swiftly. An additional £9m on top of the earlier £22m demonstrates that change in the NHS does not come cheap.'

Ms Caines said the salary levels should enable the NHS to keep primary care managers with experience of operating fundholding practices. Most observers believe their expertise is essential if PCGs are to succeed.

Mr Milburn made his comments at a conference organised by the Association of Managers in General Practice and the IHSM. The emerging importance of primary care was underlined this week as members of the two bodies voted to merge.

Rosey Foster, the AMGP's chief executive, said: 'It is important that managers should be able to work easily across the spectrum of healthcare as the boundaries between primary and secondary care are blurring.'

Delegates were warned that they faced continual change. NHS chief executive Sir Alan Langlands recognised that managers felt under pressure, but added that this was an occupational hazard.


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