More and more practices are using practice-based commissioning (PBC) to provide new local services, and there has been an increase in the number of practices who say PBC has improved care.
These are the results from the Department of Health's (DH) latest quarterly practice survey, conducted between June and August 2008.
However, the survey, which covers a sample of practices from each PCT in England, also found that practices rating their PCT's managerial support for PBC as poor continue to outweigh those who think it is good.
Nevertheless, the proportion of practices rating their PCT's managerial support for PBC as good has increased by 4% since the previous quarterly survey, to 44%.
Support for PBC has also risen, with a recorded 12% net support rise since the first survey was conducted last year (from +37 to +49).
The latest survey shows that 46% of practices commissioned at least one new service using PBC. This represents a 13% rise since the first survey.
Now, 18% of practices thought PBC has improved patient care – this was just 12% at the end of 2007. However, the proportion who disagree that PBC has improved patient care has remained relatively unchanged, at 31%.