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Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)

PCTs are the cornerstone of the NHS, responsible for the planning and securing of health services and improving the health of the local population.

For example, PCTs must make sure there are enough GPs to provide for their population and that they are accessible to patients.

PCTs must also ensure the provision of other health services including hospitals, dentists, mental health care, Walk-In Centres, NHS Direct, patient transport (including accident and emergency), population screening, pharmacies and opticians. In addition, they are responsible for integrating health and social care so the two systems work together for patients.

The PCTs in England are given funding to plan and commission health services for their local communities – a role previously carried out by health authorities. This includes the funding and commissioning of the services provided by the RUH Bath Trust. It also means that decisions about local services are made at a local level by those best placed to make them.

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