Viewpoint: The 'new deal' for GPs should not be taken seriously by CCGs

Okay, now we've had the time to think about it, read the reactions and abreactions, I think we can all agree that the 'new deal' for general practice is... pants.

Whether it's money (30p per patient), timing (the cavalry will be too late), or a bizarre denial of the fact that patients are not that fussed about 7/7 services and would instead prefer good 5/7 services, the whole thing is pants.

You can watch the health secretary speech here, or read it in full here. And, yes, I could rant on about it but there are already loads of people doing that.

So, as commissioners, what’s the plan?

How should CCGs respond to the deal?

The new 'scorecard' will be great fun but if it holds any surprises then you should resign now. You should know where your colleagues are struggling, you should know who is trying to do something bold, you should be watering and weeding the tender shoots of federation.

Hopefully, you will already have been working on expanded primary care as a means of increased provision. This, alongside extended primary care, will be your best hope of delivering a successful, sustainable health environment.

There is, however, one aspect which you might want to consider anew.

In this 24/7 society, providers of 24/7 services have developed ways of meeting those needs. In banking it's been online services, in retail it's been self-checkouts. Have a look around – you may find and commission a new solution to meet the 7/7 pressure in different ways.

The one absolute no-no is to actually take the new deal seriously. Why not host a meeting, listen to your constituents and then have the guts to say 'no' to this tomfoolery - otherwise your CCG is just a new version of the PCT.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners.

Photo: UNP

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