Federations can protect practices from large private providers

Practices should consider joining federations because they can offer protection from large private providers moving into primary care, according to a former federation director.

Dr McCarthy: '‘We support integration not fragmentation.' Pic: JH Lancy
Dr McCarthy: '‘We support integration not fragmentation.' Pic: JH Lancy

Speaking at Commissioning Primary Care 2015, organised by GP’s sister site Inside Commissioning in London this month, Dr Phil McCarthy, a director of GP Care for seven years, warned it made losses for its first four years.

Dr McCarthy said the Bristol-based federation started in 2006, now included 100 practices and was able to offer skills such as human resources, management, payroll and recruitment in-house.

It aimed to move work into the community, using the pooled primary care premises available to it, to offer innovative services to make savings for both the NHS and member practices.

Dr McCarthy said: ‘We support integration not fragmentation. We help you to to think commercially when bidding and to help you pick the right opportunity.’

He recognised the potential conflict of interest posed by co-commissioning of primary care and said no individuals should be on both a federation and CCG board.

There was debate about whether the CCG had a legitimate role in developing a federation in its area.  

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