The first wave of pathfinder GP consortia will be supported by a number of private companies and commissioning experts after a landmark deal was signed by NHS managers.
KPMG Partnership for Commissioning has been awarded a deal by NHS London to support pathfinders being developed across the capital.
KPMG will now join UnitedHealth UK, legal firm Morgan Cole, Healthskills, NHS Primary Care Commissioning and the National Association of Primary Care to form the partnership, which is believed to be the first of its kind.
The news of the deal has emerged after Pulse previously revealed that GPs are turning to the private sector for support in the first wave of commissioning pathfinders.
Pulse reported that private firms would provide support for areas such as back-office functions, referral management and financial support.
KPMG said the deal would provide NHS London with a "comprehensive and evidence-based package of business, finance, governance and personal development support", allowing GPs to develop the skills required for contract and financial management, as well as engaging with local councils and stakeholders.
Gary Belfield, formerly the Department of Health's commissioning chief and now associate partner at KPMG, said: "I am delighted that NHS London has awarded this ground-breaking contract to the KPMG Partnership for Commissioning. We look forward to working closely with the early pathfinders in London to ensure they are as prepared as possible to meet the commissioning challenges that face the NHS in the coming years."
NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall said: "We are excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to providing support to practices as they seek to implement GP commissioning locally."
Copyright © Press Association 2011