Independent contractor model may be unfit for 21st century, says Gerada

GPs should ask themselves whether the 1940s model of independent contractor status is still fit for the 21st century, according to RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada.

Professor Clare Gerada: independent contractor model dates from 1940s
Professor Clare Gerada: independent contractor model dates from 1940s

Giving her final speech as chairwoman to the RCGP’s annual conference in Harrogate, West Yorkshire, today she urged GPs to pool resources with all providers of health and social care in an aligned geographic area.

Professor Gerada suggested the foundation of what she described as integrated care co-operatives led by GPs.

Professor Gerada said: ‘We must change our relationship with our specialist colleagues. The them and us division symbolised by the hospital entrance must become a thing of the past. In order to make this happen we are going to have to think of and answer some difficult questions about the way we do things currently.

‘Our healthcare system was set up to meet the needs of the population of post-war Britain.’

Now people are living longer and with more complex multiple conditions, she added. Continuity of care and fragmentation of services were both made worse by the coalition government’s recent NHS reforms, multiple providers and competition they introduced into the NHS.

‘We have to examine historic systems including the independent contractor model and ask ourselves: "Is this 1940s model created as a pragmatic solution at the time still fit for the 21st century?"

‘I believe GPs working in isolation have served their purpose well but their time has passed. Instead we need all providers of health and social care with a geographically-aligned area coming together to pool resources.’

She added these integrated care co-operatives would be provider organisations led by GPs aiming to reduce fragmentation, improve continuity and deliver value for money.

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

Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid and NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard at Downing Street press conference

GPs offered £15 per jab as government sets 31 January COVID-19 booster deadline

COVID-19 vaccine payments to GP practices will rise nearly a fifth to £15 per jab...

Houses of parliament

Evidence for mandatory NHS staff COVID-19 jabs 'not good enough', says Lords committee

Evidence to support government plans to require all NHS staff in patient-facing roles...

Dr Farah Jameel

Practices 'need substantial support' to step up Omicron response, warns BMA GP chair

General practice is already facing unsustainable pressure and will need 'substantial...

JCVI COVID-19 immunisation chair Professor Wei Shen Lim

JCVI backs immediate expansion of COVID-19 vaccination to combat Omicron variant

The COVID-19 booster campaign should expand immediately to people aged 18-39 and...

Close up of hand holding sample tube with 'Omicron' handwritten on side

Government urged to 'free up' GP practices and expand steps to control Omicron

GPs have called for immediate action such as suspension of QOF to allow practices...

(Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images)

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...