NHS England rules out one-size-fits-all GP model

NHS England will not impose a one-size-fits-all model on general practice in response to a wide-ranging consultation on the future of primary care, a senior health service executive has said.

Sir Malcolm Grant: GP reforms not one-size-fits-all
Sir Malcolm Grant: GP reforms not one-size-fits-all

But significant reforms could emerge from the consultation, after NHS England chairman Sir Malcolm Grant told the Commissioning in Healthcare conference in London on Tuesday that for primary care provision ‘we need to think the unthinkable’.

Funding needs to follow the transfer of work from hospitals to general practice, he said, but warned that GPs could face a ‘much more rigorous evaluation of outcome measures’.

Speaking ahead of the completion next month of NHS England’s consultation Improving general practice: a call to action, Sir Malcolm said that plans need to ‘transcend political timelines’ and operate over five- or ten-year terms.

‘I am not a person for a single model of primary care,’ he said. ‘I think we at NHS England are very interested to see what funding arrangements can bring a greater rationalisation to the provision of primary care.

‘I think that we will have a number of ways of approaching primary care.

‘The first is to look at what happens in different areas, in different regions. We have just appointed Professor Clare Gerada to come and help us in an advisory role in London. Primary care in London, for those who are not familiar, ranges from one or two practices which have 100 or more GPs working in them to 20% of practices that have just one GP in them.’

When asked by a London GP about the future of single-handed practices, which often have high satisfaction ratings, Sir Malcolm said: ‘Patient satisfaction is tremendously important but it is not everything. Life and death are everything and how competent a particular practice is in terms of the outcomes we can measure.

‘Dr Harold Shipman was one of the most popular GPs in his area.

‘We need to have a much more rigorous evaluation of outcome measures for primary care as we shall do for hospitals, as it is all part of understanding outcomes across the country.

‘For some activities you do need a consortium of some GPs to advance health education, public health, outcomes and screening and the other activities that we would like to bring into primary care and not maintain in hospitals. But there are many models of single-handed practices.

‘What I am interested in is not the number of doctors, it is the outcomes.’

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

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...