What makes a successful merger? Paul Burns, PCC’s lead for practice mergers, pauses: “Meeting the aspirations you had at the start of the journey,” he says.
It’s not the answer you might expect because the merger process is complex, time-consuming and often fraught with hidden obstacles. So much so that the process can start to get confused with the outcome.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May and many practices are still unprepared. Recognising the scale and complexity of the task, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made it clear that this is the “start of a journey” not a final deadline, but failure to start the journey could put your business at risk with the prospect of heavy fines for non-compliance. PCC has already delivered sessions for practices in Manchester explaining the legal requirements of GDPR and helping them to develop practical implementation plans. These sessions have been supported by CCGs under the umbrella of resilience funding. For more information email email@example.com
Practice mergers are often driven by necessity but provide the opportunity for CCGs and their members to think beyond the legal formalities and start to address problems of workload and workforce. The latest edition of Commissioning Excellence considers the steps to successful mergers, including what happens after the ink dries on the deal when arguably the real work begins. In related articles we consider why and how practices should claim a seat at the table with their local STP/ICS and Dr Mike Smith advises GP federations on how to avoid an early grave. Plus we look at the Health Education England rotating paramedic programme and a referral management system developed by a group of Leicestershire CCGs and their practices.
PCC is running two eye health primary care contracting essentials courses during 2018. Our level one workshop enables delegates to develop a better understanding of the regulatory, financial and contractual framework under which NHS eye-health services are commissioned and provided and the practical implications of these. It will help delegates to feel confident in managing contract change requests, requesting contract changes themselves, implementing and managing national variations and issuing contract notices. This session is running on 11 October in Leeds and 5 December in London.
In the level three workshop, delegates will work through two local scenarios, understanding the contractual issues, the options available and formulating contractual notices and practising difficult conversations. This session on 10 August in Leeds is aimed at delegates with a basic understanding or above of the GOS contract.
Recent planning guidance from NHS England sends a clear signal to general practices that if they don’t start working together of their own accord solutions may be imposed from above. A briefing from PCC reminds practices that regardless of national policy, there are compelling reasons for greater collaboration now. Great scale will also increase the opportunities for general practice to influence the development of integrated care systems – the same systems that may ultimately shape their own futures.