General practice split over consortia holding contracts

GP leaders are split over whether consortia should hold GP contracts, amid fears it will lead to in-fighting among the profession.

Dr Vautrey: necessary structures (Photograph: MCG)
Dr Vautrey: necessary structures (Photograph: MCG)

Both the NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) have now called for GP consortia to be handed control of their member practices' contracts.

But NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said consortia holding GP contracts 'is precisely what we don't want'.

The NHS Alliance's response to the White Paper calls for consortia to be 'collectives in the true sense of the word' and not 'local enforcers'.

'If practices do find themselves excluded, or having their licences revoked, we don't want that to be GP leaders doing that. Even worse, GPs bringing out old grievances against each other,' he said.

The White Paper proposed that GP contracts would be held by the National Commissioning Board, not consortia, to avoid conflicts of interest.

But NAPC chairman Dr Johnny Marshall will warn the DoH that the success of the White Paper depends on GPs being able to commission primary care and manage GP contracts. 'Under the current proposals GPs will be able to redesign all of the NHS except primary care. The quality of primary care is absolutely critical to success in commissioning.

'We are struggling to think how it will be workable for the NHS Commissioning Board to handle GP contracts without being a much bigger organisation,' he said.

GPC chairman Dr Richard Vautrey did not rule out GPC support for the idea. 'There is potential for a consortium approaching the size of a PCT to manage without a problem if they set up the necessary structures,' he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Almost 4,000 GPs rejoin GMC register as COVID-19 deaths surge

Almost 4,000 GPs rejoin GMC register as COVID-19 deaths surge

Around 3,800 GPs have rejoined the medical register barely a week after the government...

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock infected with COVID-19

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock infected with COVID-19

Prime minister Boris Johnson and health and social care secretary Matt Hancock are...

'Lovely' Essex GP feared to be first UK doctor to die from COVID-19

'Lovely' Essex GP feared to be first UK doctor to die from COVID-19

An Essex GP is feared to have become the first UK doctor to die after being infected...

How PCNs are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

How PCNs are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

Primary care networks (PCNs) are hosting virtual training sessions and re-writing...

Guidance updated for pregnant healthcare staff in coronavirus outbreak

Guidance updated for pregnant healthcare staff in coronavirus outbreak

All GPs who are pregnant should have the choice to stop work in patient-facing roles...

More than 550 GPs sign up within 24 hours to support NHS111

More than 550 GPs sign up within 24 hours to support NHS111

More than 550 GPs have signed up within 24 hours to take calls for NHS 111 as the...