primary care organisation
primary care organisationA UK term for either a
(1) Primary care trust (PCT), which currently commissions primary and secondary health services for the people in its catchment area; or
(2) Care trust, which commissions social and healthcare services.
PCOs receive a budget directly from the Department of Health, from which they produce a five-year strategic plan to show what they will do to improve local health and healthcare.
Primary care organisations:
• Assess the health needs of the local population and match the offered services to meet those needs;
• Secure agreed levels of service with local hospitals, which are autonomous bodies with their own leadership and plans;
• Pay for local doctors and dentists, who have a contract with the PCO;
• Commission community-based health services—e.g., therapy services, district nurses and mental health services;
• Work with other organisations and community groups to improve services, tackle health inequalities and improve health.