Consortia should federate with neighbours, GPC says

Small consortia should join together into 'federations', according to new GPC guidance.

Dr Vautrey: GPC guidance 'flexible enough' to deal with changes
Dr Vautrey: GPC guidance 'flexible enough' to deal with changes

In its report GP Consortia Commissioning: Initial Observations the GPC agrees that consortia size should not be proscribed, but it says that consortia covering populations of less than 500,000 will struggle to manage risk.

Consortia are likely to cover populations of between 100,000 and 750,000, the report says, with those at the bottom end of that range federating with neighbouring practices.

Practices in a locality should elect a ‘board of appointments’ to recruit clinical leaders of consortia, the GPC recommends.

The GPC wants to avoid early adopters or small practice-based commissioning consortia becoming leaders without the mandate of all local practices.

The report also recommends GPs hold consortia meetings in public so that patients understand the commissioning process and make recommendations.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the guidance was likely to change over time as the consultation period ends.

'Any arrangements that GPs put in place should be flexible enough to deal with changes and nothing should be set in stone at this early stage,' he said.

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