Practice-based commissioning is the mechanism whereby groups or clusters of practices in England are given indicative budgets to purchase health care for the needs of their patient populations. This article describes people-based commissioning, to be distinguished from the more technical and short-term approach characterised as pocket book commissioning, and argues that people-based commissioning should be the preferred approach, which needs to address public health and mental health needs of the community, be based on a clear ethical framework and seek political support through real engagement with the public.
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