GPs pilot commissioning reforms
Doctors in Cambridgeshire are piloting a scheme which allows GPs to decide what services they want to buy for patients.
NHS Cambridgeshire has started two pilot GP consortia Hunts Health and Borderline Commissioning.
They will be responsible for buying health care services for people living in the Huntingdonshire area and Yaxley and Whittlesey near Peterborough.
Services have traditionally been bought in by primary care trusts (PCTs).
The government has proposed that all GPs should be able to buy services and that PCTs should be abolished.
NHS Cambridgeshire had pledged to deliver GP Commissioning Consortia as part of the five-year strategic plan launched for the county in 2009.
Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, chief executive of NHS Cambridgeshire, said: "This launch marks the culmination of many months work with our GP colleagues.
"We have used this time to design a robust system that will enable GPs to buy health care services directly for their patients."
Dr Simon Brown, GP lead of Hunts Health, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to empower GPs to put in place a full package of health care services for their patients at a local level.
"There is no doubt that this new way of working will be challenging - but we are confident that we have the support and infrastructure in place to commission high quality health services for the people of Huntingdon."