GPs from across the South of England have gathered to discuss their key role in modernising the NHS.
The GPs, who are all leaders of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), will be responsible for commissioning health services for patients from April 2013, subject to the successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill through Parliament.
The event, on January 10, was organised by the NHS Commissioning Board together with NHS South of England.
It was aimed at helping the GPs prepare for their new role and provided them with a range of development opportunities as well as time to network and share their experiences.
A total of 88 GPs from all across the south attended.
Dominic Hardy, director of commissioner development at NHS South of England, said, “The event was part of a programme of work we are doing with GPs to help them prepare for the future.
“There were sessions on a broad range of topics ranging from involving patients in commissioning to working with local authorities and reducing health inequalities.”
There was also an opportunity for the GPs to hear directly from the NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, from Dame Barbara Hakin, who is overseeing the transfer of commissioning from Primary Care Trusts to GPs for the Department of Health, and from Sir Ian Carruthers OBE, chief executive of NHS South of England.
Dr Simon Dean said, “It was a very useful event for people like myself who need as much information as possible about what we need to do to prepare for our new roles, and a very welcome opportunity to network with other CCG leaders across the South of England and share best practice.
“There are clearly a number of challenges ahead and this was a great opportunity to really think through what needs doing.”