GPC to survey GPs amid calls for greater practice collaboration

GP leaders have launched a survey of grassroots opinion on collaboration between practices, as London LMCs urged GPs to 'take control' of their future by increasing cooperation.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: there are unexploited opportunities from collaboration (photo: Jason Heath Lancy)
Dr Chaand Nagpaul: there are unexploited opportunities from collaboration (photo: Jason Heath Lancy)

The GPC will quiz the profession on how models based on collaborative networks or federations could help solve the problems of increasing workload, funding decline, the aging society and complex health problems.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'This is part of GPC’s wider plan to address the needs and provide support for everyday GPs and practices grappling with the pressures and challenges facing them in today’s NHS.’

The launch came as London's LMC leaders published new guidance for practices on models of collaborative working. 

Speaking at a Londonwide LMCs’ conference on collaboration, chief executive Dr Michelle Drage said commissioners had failed to commision to enable GPs to serve patients better, and it was now time for GPs to ‘take control of our own futures’.

She said: 'Somehow we have to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. It is in our hands as providers of general practice in this wonderful city to take hold of the reins for ourselves and for patients.’

Dr Drage told GP that practices had to create ‘facts on the ground’, working collaboratively to reshape general practice from below and encourage commissioners to invest. The LMC is calling on practices to work more closely together and build better relationships with other providers.

Dr Nagpaul told the conference that there were huge and unexploited opportunities from collaboration, through sharing management function, subcontracting, bulk purchasing and providing extended hours across networks.

But it was crucial practices had a ‘shared vision’ in order to make collaboration work, and did not feel corralled.

Collaboration must go beyond practices with closer collaboration between GPs and community and secondary care colleagues, he added.

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