Viewpoint: Time for NHS providers to work more like Amazon

It's been a funny old year. No matter how well you have personally survived, the rising demand from patients, the increasing scrutiny of your primary care providers and the diminishing supply of GPs is a perfect storm guaranteed to disrupt the system of general practice as we know it.

It's not been designed, and there is no one person to blame, but as clinicians we will be accountable for the ensuing injuries and deaths which follow system failure as sure as night follows day.

The suicides of GPs under investigation is just the tip of an iceberg of personal cost that we will all be facing.

But it’s still the season of peace to men (and women) and goodwill. So here’s the best I can offer as my gift to you for 2015.

Be Amazon. Yes, Amazon. Not a spellchecker malfunction of 'amazing', be that too. But Amazon is not just Amazon the company.

Much of what it delivers is a service from other shops, some big, like John Lewis, some so small that you have never heard of them. In fact, there are over 2m businesses selling on Amazon.

If you activate the provider side of your brain and consider Amazon to be your multi-specialty community provider model it suddenly makes sense. Just think about how you trust delivery, appreciate convenience and rely on their service, even if it's not really them.

There is no new money, there will be no big set-up of a new organisation.

The coalescence of providers under a new brand will make that old-fashioned approach a living dinosaur and is, I suspect, the only game in town.

NHS England's Five Year Forward View has a number of clear concepts, but detail is light. Now is your chance to mke the world work differently.

Go on. Be Amazon.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners.

Photo: UNP

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