GPs need to stop behaving like meerkats and start thinking about how they and their local partners can deliver primary care at scale and new models of care, according to Mike Smith, a federation trailblazer and board member of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).
For organisations looking to grow, delivering services at scale while retaining local autonomy and a distinctive feel has always been a challenge.
Dr Mark Newbold says Birmingham-based super-partnership Our Health Partnership (OHP) is managing to achieve just that. It is providing primary care at scale – its combined patient list of 280,000 makes it bigger than many clinical commissioning groups – while maintaining the independence of its 35 practices.
The Cheshire Local Medical Committee and PCC recently brought together local GPs and practice managers to consider how to make a reality of NHS England’s vision of primary care at scale.
The half-day session was intended to outline a sensible step-by-step approach to delivering on the clear direction of travel coming from the centre. This was outlined in the Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View and the GP Forward View documents.
Practices can form a locality hub without having to invest significant sums of money, according to the chair of Wolverhampton’s primary care home (PCH).
Dr Gill Pickavance said the eight practices in Wolverhampton Total Health PCH tweaked a similar organisation’s limited company agreement and memorandum of understanding (MOU). She told PCC’s Going with the Grain event that the PCH then asked a solicitor to examine them.
Whether it’s practical aspects of governance and decision making arrangements for delegated commissioning, the role of GP services in system transformation or specific contracting issues, NHS England local offices and CCGs need to pool their knowledge and work together. PCC’s medical network meetings in Manchester on 24 May and Leeds on 25 May allow those working in primary medical commissioning and contracting to compare notes, debate issues and stay up to date with the latest policy developments and local solutions. The meetings are facilitated by PCC’s experts who are on hand to answer questions and resolve issues of policy and practice. The meetings are open to PCC subscribers only. See our events site for booking details or to find out more about subscribing email firstname.lastname@example.org