GPC backs framework for building consortia

The GPC has endorsed a framework setting out professional standards GP consortia should work towards.

Dr Poole: without a set of principles to work to there is a risk that GP commissioning could be 'discredited'
Dr Poole: without a set of principles to work to there is a risk that GP commissioning could be 'discredited'

The move comes as GP leaders warn that a lack of official guidance on how consortia should operate could create confusion over issues of accountability, governance and conflict of interest.

Dr Simon Poole, chairman of Cambridge LMC and a GPC member, produced the framework, called Seven pillars of GP commissioning. He said the profession needed to set out its own principles for successful and ethical commissioning.

The framework will be sent to LMCs later this month.

Dr Poole said that without a set of principles to work to there is a risk that GP commissioning could be 'discredited'.

'There would be no clarity on areas of conflict of interest and no expectations to work within defined standards,' he warned.

The seven pillars set out in his commissioning framework focus on the need for leadership, professional standards, clinical engagement, accountability, governance, public participation and partnership working.

Dr Poole said: 'Leadership means that consortia need clarity of purpose and vision about health improvement and the need to demonstrate competency to deliver that. It will be increasingly important to engage the public where we have to use limited resources and make choices on the best healthcare available within those resources.'

Dr Poole added: 'I hope this will create debate and discussion within consortia and the wider profession about what expectations we can have of consortia.'

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