A Lincoln GP is the new chair of Lincolnshire West GP Consortium — a group that could determine how healthcare services are provided in Lincoln.
Dr Sunil Hindocha of Lincoln’s City Medical Practice will take charge of the group. It’s made up of 38 GP practices and covers a population of 220,000.
The consortium, one of seven in Lincolnshire, may be responsible for buying and commissioning most of the healthcare services in the city and wider area.
Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s controversial NHS reforms would hand these powers over from Primary Care Trusts to GP consortia.
Whether it will hold this responsibility depends on the Coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Bill passing through Parliament.
Lansley’s Bill is currently “paused” for a period of “listening” to the public, amid widespread concern about the Coalition’s plans for the NHS.
The Liberal Democrats, following their collapse in public backing over the past year, are trying to drum up support by publicly bringing the reforms into question.
Lincolnshire West’s new consortium will initially operate in shadow form for one year from April 1.
It will eventually take over from NHS Lincolnshire when PCTs are disbanded from April 2013 onwards, if Lansley’s Bill is approved by the House of Commons.
Dr Hindocha said: “We want to improve health outcomes for our patients and to do this we need to ensure we engage with our local population.
“It will also be critical for us to work in partnership with colleagues from across the healthcare sector in Lincolnshire, with the local authority, Health and Wellbeing Board and other key partners.
“We recognise the challenges we face but will endeavour to be innovative in our responsible use of resources, flexible in the face of change and open in our discussions and decisions so that good health care in West Lincolnshire becomes great.”
He added: “So far our focus has been on establishing the rest of the Executive Team and I am delighted to be joined by – Dr Ian Lacy, Dr Hemant Gujadhur, Dr William Vessey and Dr John Parkin. The team also includes two practice managers, Stuart Coffey and Pauline Mardle.”