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The last substantive report of the Health Committee in the last Parliament, published on 30th March 2010, reviewed the progress of commissioning in the NHS. Among its conclusions were the following:

o “Weaknesses remained 20 years after the introduction of the purchaser/provider split”.

o “Weaknesses were due in large part to PCTs’ lack of skills, notably poor analysis of data, lack of clinical knowledge and the poor quality of much PCT management. The situation had been made worse by the constant re-organisations and high turnover of staff”.

The Coalition had made it clear that, like its predecessor, it regarded more empowered and more effective commissioning as the key to successful delivery of its objectives for the NHS.

The new Health Committee had decided to follow up the work of its predecessor by holding an inquiry into how the new government intended to resolve the issues which had undermined the effectiveness of commissioning in the NHS.

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