At the National Association of Primary Care conference in Birmingham on Wednesday, Dr Phil Yates, a GP and chairman of provider organisation GP Care UK, said as the NHS becomes more competitive some of the work currently provided in general practice could be lost to other providers.
He said this could start with GPs losing local enhanced services and directed enhanced services, which he said could be done by a small number of providers in a community rather than by every GP practice.
He said: ‘We are moving into a rather different landscape, a more competitive environment where there will be a diversity of providers.
‘If you do nothing at the moment then I think these other providers will, in time, encroach on what has been standard general practice work.’
But Dr Yates said GPs should not set up a provider organisation unless they have a ‘huge weight’ of GP support as it is ‘not a small venture’.
Provider organisations also must be large enough to ensure they can manage conflict of interest issues, he said.
Dr Yates said provider organisations must declare any conflict of interest issues and also ensure that those who are on the board of provider organisations do not also sit on the board of the CCG.
He said: 'If it can be done in a way where deal with conflict of interest problems then it is a way of making sure that the work that comes into community doesn’t go to commercial operators and is retained within the NHS community.'