'Opportunities' for charities in GP budget reform

Preventive care organisations could be winners, says Acevo

The decision to give GPs responsibility for budgets and commissioning services could present significant opportunities to charities, according to chief executives body Acevo.

Peter Kyle, its deputy chief executive, said charities engaged in preventive care could be among the biggest beneficiaries because GPs were likely to give this a higher priority than the NHS.

He said the NHS spent £4.7bn a year on the third sector and that charities seeking government contract opportunities should think beyond the Cabinet Office, which houses the Office of the Third Sector and spends £200m a year on the sector.

"So much attention is given to what the civil society minister Nick Hurd says, and I find it incredibly frustrating," said Kyle. "We've got to focus on the big-spending departments."

Five months ago, when he was shadow Chancellor, George Osborne said the Conservatives had "considerable and ambitious plans to involve the third sector in much bigger areas of activity".

Dee Taylor, communications manager for 3SC, a consortium of voluntary sector contractors, said it was concerned about the financial commitments of bidding to the Work Programme. But it had registered its expression of interest nevertheless and hoped to become a prime contractor.

She said the consortium, which has 800 members, was also interested in applying to run the recently announced National Citizen Service.

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