Practice based commissioning (PBC) was gradually introduced to the NHS from 2004 onwards in order to generate front-line clinical engagement with the commissioning process. PBC was officially seen as a complement to patient choice of provider, payment by results of provider, and the roll-out of foundation trusts.
The essence of PBC is that general medical practices are provided with an ‘indicative budget’ with which to commission services for their patients. It was expected that practices, or groups of practices (consortia), would seek to redesign services so as to provide better experiences for patients as well as save money. Money saved on these budgets was to be available for practices, or consortia, to invest in improved patient services. PBC was not officially specified in detail so that implementation varied locally.
This report describes and analyses the rationale for, and implementation and outcomes of PBC, in the NHS between 2007-2009.