New Health Trust Takes Control

Uttlesford Primary Care Trust has now become part of the brand new West Essex PCT. Five new PCTs have replaced the previous 12 across the county as part of a nationwide scheme which is expected to save the NHS £250 million. The launch of the new system follows a consultation which ended in March 2006 and asked people for their views on how primary care services should be run. Its results showed 90 per cent of patients experience the NHS through GP practices, healthcare agencies and social care agencies and the PCT changes aim to shift the focus of health care from hospitals to community-based care.

East of England Strategic Health Authority chairman Keith Pearson said: “Previously there were nearly three times as many PCTs in the region covered by the SHA. Reducing the number of these organisations will help to develop a closer relationship between health, social care and emergency services.

“Most importantly, it will help us deliver better value health services for people in the area. These new organisations are equipped to commission services that are centred around the needs of people.”

The SHA’s interim chief executive Pearse Butler said: “This is an exciting time for local health services, as these new organisations start work for the first time.

“Better partnership working and improved services for patients are just two of the benefits of having fewer, more efficient PCTs. It will also mean we can plan better for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, while freeing more money to deliver top quality, day-to-day frontline services.”

The new structure means that East Anglia now has 14 PCTs instead of 41.