Changes to cut health service bureaucracy on way

HEALTH bosses are to cut down on bureaucracy by changing the way community services are managed in the Lothians.

From April, frontline services such as family planning and care of the elderly will be managed by Community Health Partnerships (CHP).

At present, most of NHS Lothian's community services have been managed by its Primary Care Organisation (PCO), which is slowly being scaled down.

The CHP committees were established last year as part of moves to cut down on bureaucracy by bringing health services under the control of a single management structure within NHS Lothian.

Patients who need the services of salaried dentists, substance misuse workers and disability specialists are already under the care of the CHP.

NHS Lothian's chief operating officer for Primary Care, Murray Duncanson, said: "As NHS Lothian moves towards single system working, the PCO is transferring responsibility for the bulk of those services to the new CHPs ... and to other management structures within the health service in Lothian."

Ray Flint, depute director of the health authority's strategic planning directorate, added: "The transfer ... will make a major expansion of responsibility for the new CHPs and enable them to build on the solid foundations created since their inception."