GP consortia should not hold GP contracts, says GPC

GP contracts should be held at national commissioning board level and not by GP consortia, the GPC has said.

Dr Buckman: GPC will be putting out further guidance
Dr Buckman: GPC will be putting out further guidance

The GPC’s position supports the government’s view, outlined in the White Paper, that GP contracts should be held by the new NHS Commissioning Board.

The GPC’s line further divides the leading GP organisations about the best way to oversee GP contracts.

Earlier this month the NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care called for the contracts to be held, or at least overseen by GP consortia.

But GPC chairman Dr Buckman said it would be ‘quite a problem’ for local GPs to hold the primary care contract with other local GP colleagues. ‘Clearly, one office somewhere in England can’t be the place that looks at what GPs are doing. We are not advocating that and neither are the department,' he said.

‘There has to be some arrangement that enables contracts to be observed, but we think bringing it down to inter-personal level, where the risk of conflict of interest, confused roles or accusations of an inter-personal nature are things we would not want to see encouraged.’

Dr Buckman said the GPC will be putting out further guidance on how conflict of interest issues could be managed, as well as around how practices ‘get onto consortia’. He said: ‘There are two obvious areas where we believe we should be issuing guidance and we intend to do so.’

Meanwhile, the GPC has welcomed the government’s plans invite GP consortia to bid to become 'pathfinder' organisations, taking on budgets early next year.

Dr Buckman said the idea that somebody goes first and tries out the policy is ‘perfectly reasonable’ and will allow the government to see whether they should slow down with the policy.  ‘I’m happier with them trying it than not because at least you might find out what the bumps [in the policy] are,' he said.

‘The more you consider something… the more likely to are to get it right at the end. If you just do it from within a structure from above, there is every risk it won’t work. If you try it out … that is a much better scientific endeavour.’

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpual added: ‘The government should use this opportunity to learn from the Pathfinder sites. To learn both what works and also what may not be working. The government should be open to changing its policies according to the lessons from these Pathfinders.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK Houses of Parliament

Scrapping partnership model will not solve crisis in general practice, say NHS leaders

Scrapping the partnership model and moving to a salaried service will not solve the...

Dr Jackie Applebee

Doctors tell BMA to pull GP practices out of PCNs by 2023

The BMA has been told to organise the withdrawal of GP practices from PCNs by 2023...

GP consultation

3 in 10 doctors fear being blamed or facing legal action after admitting mistakes

Three in 10 doctors are worried about the repercussions of admitting to clinical...

BMA House entrance

Only 55% of Romney review recommendations on BMA sexism fully implemented

Only just over half of recommendations from the 2019 Romney review into sexism in...

BMA House entrance

GPs face pension tax penalties worth 'half their post-tax income'

Rapid swings in inflation could leave GPs facing pension tax penalties worth 'half...


BMA to demand significant pay rises to combat 15 years of real-term cuts

The BMA is set to demand significant pay rises for all doctors to undo over a decade...