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First GP Consortia Selected

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley announced that the first groups of general practitioner (GP) practices, pilot GP consortia to be known as pathfinders, have been selected to take on commissioning responsibilities. The Department of Health asked strategic health authorities to identify groups of practices eager to test working together—and with local authorities and the colleagues in the National Health Service—to manage local budgets and to commission care, including hospital and specialist care as well as primary care, directly for their patients. Fifty-two groups of GPs from across England were selected to be pathfinders. The groups include 1,860 GP practices that provide care to nearly 13 million people, or about a quarter of the English population.

The GP consortia will formally take on the new responsibilities beginning April 2013.

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