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Pathfinder consortia revealed

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The names of the 55 organisations that will spearhead the government’s plans to hand commissioning over to GP consortia have been revealed.

The DH has said that the “pathfinder” consortia will test different design concepts and identify issues and areas of learning in the new commissioning structure.

The North West is the region with the largest number of pathfinder consortia with 12 and there are eight from both East of England and London. There are only three consortia each from East Midlands, West Midlands and the North East and only two from Yorkshire and The Humber.

Analysis of information obtained from primary care trusts in October shows the consortia range in size from one consisting of just two practices and covering around 23,000 patients in Fleetwood, North Lancashire and one single practice consortium, the Red House Group Hertfordshire with just 18,900 patients, to the consortia in Somerset which covers 75 GP practices and a population of over half a million.

A population the size of half a million would have an NHS commissioning budget of around £750m. However it still is not clear how much of the commissioning budget will be handed to consortia as a number of commissioning responsibilities will be centralised in the NHS commissioning board.

In a letter to strategic health authority chief executives in October, national managing director of commissioning development Barbara Hakin said: “The objective of pathfinders is to empower pioneering groups of GP practices that want to press ahead with commissioning care for patients.”

The letter said that consortia will take on additional responsibility for commissioning services in advance of the April 2013 time scale for consortia to take full responsibility for commissioning.

Sign now to ensure nurses have real influence in shaping the new NHS

Nurses are being urged to petition health secretary Andrew Lansley to ensure the vital skills and expertise of the profession are not overlooked under plans for commissioning healthcare.

The Nursing Times campaign, A Seat on the Board, aims to ensure nurses are involved at the highest level of the new GP commissioning consortia. 

East of England:

  • CATCH (Cambridgeshire)
  • East Suffolk Federation
  • Fortis Group
  • Health East CIC
  • Great Yarmouth and Waveney
  • Hunts Health
  • Ipscom (Ipswich)
  • The Red House Group Hertfordshire


East Midlands:

  • Principia
  • Bassetlaw Commissioning organisation
  • Nene Community Interest Company



  • Bexley Clinical Cabinet
  • Ealing Commissioning Consortia
  • Great West Commissioning Consortium
  • Kingston Consortium
  • Newham Health Partnership
  • Redbridge
  • Southwark Health Commissioning
  • The Sutton Consortium

North East:

  • Newcastle Bridges GP consortia
  • Langbaurgh
  • County Durham


North West:

  • Cumbria Senate
  • Salford PBC Consortium
  • Stockport Managed Care
  • Manchester (three consortia: north, central and south)
  • West Cheshire Consortium
  • Wirral GP Consortium
  • Eastern Cheshire Commissioning Consortium
  • Trafford Commissioning Consortium
  • Fleetwood Community Commissioning Group
  • Wirral NHS Alliance


South Central:

  • Buckinghamshire
  • South East Hampshire
  • Bracknell Forest
  • South Reading
  • Basingstoke
  • Oxfordshire


South East Coast:

  • North East West Sussex Association of Commissioning Consortia
  • Coastal West Sussex Federation
  • Surrey Health
  • Thames Medical
  • Guildford and Waverly
  • Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley


South West:

  • Baywide GPCC Ltd
  • Sentinel Healthcare Southwest Community Interest Company
  • South Glos Consortium Ltd


West Midlands:

  • South Birmingham integrated clinical commission consortium
  • Dudley GP Commissioning Consortium
  • Herefordshire GP Commissioning Consortium


Yorkshire and The Humber:

  • Doncaster Commissioning Consortium
  • North East Lincolnshire Commissioning Consortium
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Readers' comments (1)

  • At MedilinkWM, we work with businesses who are supplying products or services to the NHS. Many are concerned by the changes to the procurement routes and the impact that will have on existing sales and contracts. But there may also be opportunities for industry to develop tools to help GP commission effectively. MedilinkWM is hosting an event at the Coventry Hilton Hotel on 25 January which looks at this in detail.

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