The Operating Framework set a national requirement for primary care trusts to undertake open and transparent procurements during 2008-09 for new general practitioner-led health centres. Exact service commencement will depend on a range of local circumstances, including the availability of premises.
The Department has established the following core criteria for each new health centre service:
easily accessible locations;
core general practitioner (GP) services;
open 8 am-8 pm, seven days per week;
bookable GP appointments and walk-in services;
registered and non-registered patients; and
maximising opportunities to integrate and co-locate with other community based services.
Beyond these, local commissioners will determine the precise range of services in ways that best meet local health needs.
The configuration of health services is a local matter for primary care trusts. From 2008-09 the Department will support primary care trusts (PCTs) in commissioning 152 new general practitioner led health centres to add to existing provision.
PCTs are currently engaging with stakeholders, including local patients and national health service staff about how new health centre services are best provided to meet local needs and the effect they may have on existing provision.
Primary care trusts are responsible for assessing the impact of local health service configurations. They are currently engaging with their stakeholders, including local patients and national health service staff about how new general practitioner led health centre services are best provided to meet local needs and the effect they may have on existing provision.