Practices must join federations if they are to improve the quality of care they offer, RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field has said.
Speaking before the publication of the College's report, ‘Primary Care Federations - putting patients first', he said: ‘Gone are the days when practices can work in isolation. The future is networking practices together.'
The new report expands on the RCGP's proposals for federated practices, first mooted last autumn. It argues that federations would create economies of scale, allowing practices to invest in new services and promote public health.
It calls for the creation of a range of models for federations, based on collective legal entities such as charities.
‘The way practices work together should underpin the Darzi review. This is something to build that around,' said Professor Field.
‘There is a role for single handed practices, but they should be working much more closely with other smaller practices to improve the care they offer.'
Even the new health centres ‘shouldn't work in isolation', he said.
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