Grassroots GPs 'ignored' as NHS regions draw up STP reform plans

Sustainability and transformation plans that will reshape NHS services to fit local areas and map out additional investment in general practice are being designed without input from grassroots GPs, LMCs have warned.

Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) for 44 areas, or ‘footprints’, across England are due to be submitted by the end of next month (June), but ‘little or no’ GP provider input has been incorporated, according to LMCs in some areas.

STPs are intended to plan for sustainable general practice, and the GP Forward View, published last month, said the process would lead to extra local investment for general practice.

But GP leaders say that much of the input from general practice in local STP planning has come from GPs involved in CCGs, rather than those whose sole concern is working on the frontline.

GP providers

Birmingham LMC executive secretary Dr Robert Morley said: ‘Typically and unsurprisingly the only GP input has been via CCGs, with a complete misunderstanding and/or neglect of the fact that CCGs are commissioning and performance management bodies and in no way have any role representing GPs as providers.’

Dr Morley said his LMC had made it clear to the local STP leadership that GP and LMC engagement was essential if their plans were to succeed, and a meeting has now been arranged.

A number of the centrally appointed STP footprint leads are GPs working for CCGs, but none are solely provider GPs.

Avon LMC chairman, Dr Simon Bradley, said the footprint in his area covers three CCG areas, but it had no non-CCG GP representation on the group producing the STP.

‘With more than a little pressure from us there has been some movement but there is still no representation,’ he said.

CCG role

‘We now have a named GP representative for each CCG area, and even though there is an assumption that they will be invited to join the STP, there has been no invitation so far.

‘They have to make a submission by the end of next month, which means it is likely to go ahead without any formal GP provider input.’

Londonwide LMCs medical director, Dr Tony Grewal, said there had been ‘little or no’ involvement from GPs in the London area.

‘NHS England typically make an announcement with great trumpets and fanfare and then want they want something two days later,’ he said.

‘Most of our GPs are too busy with their day jobs.’

A spokesperson for NHS England said: ‘Footprint areas have determined their own governance arrangements as locally appropriate. While it is not possible to ensure representation from every provider and commissioner on their patch, we have encouraged them to ensure a wide range of voices is heard including those of front line GPs. Half of the footprint areas are being led by GP-controlled CCGs.’

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

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

GPs report drop in older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms

More than half of GPs say numbers of older patients coming forward with cancer symptoms...

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

Failure to involve GPs in COVID-19 test and trace 'a disaster and a national shame'

GPs and primary care teams should have played a key role in the UK’s efforts to test,...

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

RCGP chair 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics'

General practice has risen 'heroically' to unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19...

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

Remote GP consultations a 'lifeline for the NHS' during pandemic, says Hancock

The rapid switch to remote GP consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic provided...

COVID-19 disrupted training for four in five doctors, GMC survey shows

COVID-19 disrupted training for four in five doctors, GMC survey shows

The vast majority of trainee doctors have seen their training disrupted or limited...

GP practices face losses 'in excess of £50,000' as COVID-19 hits income

GP practices face losses 'in excess of £50,000' as COVID-19 hits income

GP practices across England are facing a significant loss of income as COVID-19 dries...