The survey by the BMA of more than 15,500 UK GPs revealed a significant change in the way practices are working together to provide services, GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said.
Across the UK, 37% of all GPs and 43% of GP contractors said their practice was working as part of a federation. In England, 43% of all GPs said their practice was in a federation.
Just 2% said their practice was in a 'super-partnership' and 1% contracted with an NHS hospital trust. Almost half of GPs, 48%, said their practice had not joined any other practice or health organisations.
GP networks and federations
Of those in networks and federations, 62% said they had joined with other practices in order to bid for contracts, while 57% said they had joined to gain more influence over healthcare delivery. A total of 39% said they had joined with other practices to provide long-term security for their practice.
Questioned about suggested models of care outlined in NHS England's Five Year Forward View, over half said a model of practices working in federations working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals would work best in their area.
Just 12% chose a model of practice federations taking on aspects of secondary care, while only 1% said hospital-led organisations delivering all health services would be best.
Dr Nagpaul said: ‘It is clear that there has been a big change in the way GP practices are working together, with the increased development of networks and federations. It is important that these new working arrangements enable practices to be both big and small at the same time, retaining the valuable and much appreciated connection with patients in a local community whilst working with others to protect services across the whole local area.’