In future, fundholding GPs will be required to produce annual reports, spell out their treatment plans and consult with patients over services.
Mrs Bottomley said that before the end of the year a consultation document on accountability would be published. 'The public must be confident that innovation is backed by proper accountability. Family doctors must be responsible for the use of taxpayers' money,' she said.
Mrs Bottomley also said there would be some relaxation in the rules which govern what GP fundholders can do with financial savings or surpluses.
A booklet, Developing Purchasing and GP Fundholding: Towards a Primary Care-led NHS is available from Health Publications Unit, Heywood Stores, Manchester Road, Heywood, Lancs, OL10 2PZ.