GPs must prepare for consortia vote

GPs should begin considering an election process for the leadership structure of shadow consortia in the coming months, the GPC has advised.

Dr Richard Vautrey: 'It is important that those leading shadow consortia have the
Dr Richard Vautrey: 'It is important that those leading shadow consortia have the

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the GPC, said it was important that those leading shadow consortia have the 'full support' of constituent practices.

He said one way of ensuring this is through an 'open and transparent election process'.

Read the guidance here

He said even if doctors have already put themselves forward to lead shadow consortia, they should still go through a formal election process.

In a guidance document, Shadow consortia: Developing and electing a transitional leadership, the GPC says GPs should avoid electing leaders to shadow consortia solely by a popular vote.

While this could result in a leadership that is popular, members 'may not actually possess the skills required to do the job', the guidance warns.

GPs should consider drawing up a list of competency requirements candidates should fulfil before being entered into an election, the guidance says.

'This would limit the pool of candidates standing in the election by automatically rejecting any candidates who do not meet pre-specified competencies,' the guidance said.

It also said all GPs, including partners, salaried GPs and locums, should be able to stand for election for the transitional leadership to 'access the widest range of talent'.

In a separate guide, the GPC warned that the NHS Commissioning Board may not approve consortia that 'cherry pick' like-minded practices and leave out areas with greater health inequalities.

The guide said that it was likely that the NHS Commissioning Board will not sign off an individual consortium until there is complete consortia coverage across an area.

In The form and structure of GP-led commissioning consortia the GPC said areas where future arrangements have been agreed should keep their plans flexible. It also warned that plans must have broad support from GPs. 'If it is led by a small group of enthusiasts then GP consortia will not be able to make the improvements to patient care and NHS services that have been envisaged,' the guidance warns.

GPC consortia advice
  • Begin elections in coming months.
  • All GPs should be able to stand for election.
  • Leadership should have full support of practices.
  • Consider asking candidates to meet certain competencies.
  • Keep consortium plans flexible.

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