The role of Federations and GP provider organisations going forward

It’s been reported in Pulse that GP federations will not count as primary care networks ‘in most cases’ and that “Practices will have just a couple of months to join new primary care networks if they are to qualify for a significant amount of funding being invested in the organisations by NHS England” – all part of the new five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement The NHS Long Term Plan.

Ross Clark, Head of GP Services North, comments: “The timing is indeed ‘ambitious’ as Dr Brian Balmer states and practices will struggle to get organised in time (it’s not as if they have plenty of time on their hands just now!).

“However, Federations and GP provider organisations are still essential and will play a pivotal role for the networks and groups of practices they serve. An easy and quick solution here is for the Federation to create neighbourhood or locality sub-committees which can then operate as the Network.”

Ross concludes that “the real test for practices will of course come when we see the detail of the template Network Agreement, for therein may lie the devil!”

Hempsons are actively involved with GPs and LMCs across the country in establishing GP provider organisations, Federations and Super Partnerships, which not only take advantage of the opportunities being put out to tender by CCG’s but also provide a vehicle for GPs to support each other in their primary care practices.

We have already established over 70 GP provider organisations and 4 Super Partnerships to date (with several more underway). These included the merger of 35 GP Practices in central Birmingham, with a patient population of just under 300,000, to form Our Health Partnership (OHP) a couple of years ago. Ross has continued to work with OHP as it has grown, and it now consists of over 60 practices across Midlands and Shropshire, with a patient population of over 470,000. This makes it the largest single GP Practice in the country.