What is a PCT?
What is a Primary Care Trust (PCT)?
A common question asked within pharmaceutical recruitment when applying for your first medical sales position is "What is a Primary Care Trust (PCT)"?
Primary care is defined as the care you receive from the first people that you normally see when you have a health problem. This can be a visit to a doctor or a dentist, an optician for an eye test, or just a trip to your pharmacist to buy cough medicine. Also included as primary care are your local NHS walk-in centres and the NHS Direct phone line service.
In England, these services are all managed for you by your local Primary Care Trust (PCT), which is a statutory body that is part of the NHS. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own authorities, known as Health Boards, which are responsible for healthcare and health improvements in their local area.
Your PCT interacts with local authorities and other agencies that provide health and social care locally to ensure that the needs of your local community are being met.
PCTs are responsible for:
All people registered with a GP whose practice is within the boundaries of the PCT, regardless of where the person actually lives, plus
Any people not registered with a GP who live within the geographical boundaries of the PCT.
PCTs manage the financial costs of treatment within their geographical area, providing funding for GPs and prescriptions. They also pay for hospital and mental health services from appropriate NHS trusts or from the private sector.
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