GPC says consortia leaders must fit key criteria

GPs should avoid electing leaders to shadow consortia solely on the basis of a popular vote, the GPC has warned.

In a guidance paper to GPs, the GPC outlined a number of issues that need to be considered when developing 'transitional' leadership structures to take shadow consortia forward.

It warns that if a transitional leadership is elected solely on the basis of a popular vote, this could result in a leadership which is initially popular, but whose members 'may not actually possess the skills required to do the job'.

It says consideration should be given to whether it would be appropriate to require all candidates for leadership posts to meet certain competency requirements before being entered into an election.

‘This would limit the pool of candidates standing in the election by automatically rejecting any candidates who do not meet pre-specified competencies,’ the guidance says.

‘Shadow consortia: Developing and electing a transitional leadership’ says all GPs, including partners, salaried GPs and locums, should be able to stand for election for the transitional leadership.

‘This will give the shadow consortium access to the widest range of talent, including the many salaried and locum GPs with significant managerial and commissioning experience, and will hopefully increase the transitional leadership’s overall effectiveness,’ the guidance advises.

In a separate paper, the GPC warned that the NHS Commissioning Board may not approve consortia that ‘cherry pick’ like-minded practices and leave out areas with greater health inequalities.

It also said that it was likely that the NHS Commissioning Board will not sign off an individual consortium until it is clear that there is complete consortia coverage across an area.

In ‘The form and structure of GP-led commissioning consortia’ the GPC urged GPs who have decided on future arrangements to keep their plans flexible.  

It said: ‘The duties of consortia are known in general terms only. The detail is not known, and it is likely that this will influence the development of the structure and management of consortia.

‘It is therefore important to avoid making any firm agreements with PCTs, between practices, or other organisations at this stage: form must follow function.’

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