The chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has promised a ‘new deal’ for GPs but the promise comes with some major changes.
At the House of Commons health select committee, Simon Stevens used Birmingham as an example regarding NHS plans for the delivery of primary care in the future.
He envisioned two large groupings of GPs – the Vitality Partnerships and another that would employ geriatricians and other physicians. Some of the city’s GP practices would choose to remain unaffiliated.
A hospital trust in the city may then be told it could provide general medical services across Birmingham CrossCity CCG area, where there is a high number of GPs who are approaching retirement.
This was the type of locally driven, radical overhaul of primary care services that NHS England’s Five Year Forward View blueprint for health service outlines. Mr Stevens confessed he had not yet discussed any of this in great detail with people on the ground in Birmingham.
The document was jointly published with CQC, Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Public Health England and Health Education England which set out new ways centralised health bodies can work together depending on their unique circumstances and different geographical patches tailoring the model to their needs. There is much hope that this sort of overhaul will flourish and at face value there is a lot for GPs to like.
Promises of stabilised funding for the next two years, a bigger spending budget and dissolving the classic divide between family doctors and hospitals, prevention and treatment and health and social care, the new plans sound more than positive for GPs.
The new model focuses on integration and creating a multispecialty community that is able to target services successfully at patients with complex needs, while also making it easier for group practices to form networks and federations.
The key part of the model is the aim to develop prototypes and then let the health economies choose the most suitable for adoption.