New Care Models: Graeme Cleland discusses how GP organisations must be open to change to create viable and sustainable futures.
There are concerns around the sustainability of GP Groups and the numerous iterations – can I have your thoughts about the next 2/3 years?
The next 2 to 3, or actually the next 3 to 5 years will be really critical for the future of GP organisations.
As we move into new models that have been alluded to from NHS England down through the Sustainability and Transformation Plans, into the regional commissioning structures, the ACSs or the Accountable Care Systems that are starting to emerge and the Accountable Care Organisations that are a part of that system, the role of the importance of underpinning the future of GP organisations and actually the resilience of general practice as a whole, is really important in these times.
GP organisations will have to change. They will have to flex. They’ll have to recognise they have to balance the need of being robust with the need of being federative so the establishment of a provider-type organisation and a federative or co-operative type organisation within the one umbrella is quite important, recognising the way in which those two things work together. If we don’t do that, general practice will have a very challenged future.
Even though we’ve always been able to look up to General Medical Services, what I can see happening is the way in which GMS is funded I can see it actually almost being withdrawn and being sectionalised and the new money will go into new models of care, particularly around communities and divestiture of work from secondary care and if primary care organisations are not ready to take on that challenge they will wither and die.
Coming together at scale is really important. Bringing that into a GP organisation and creating those models is going to be really key so the way in which we have to do this is we have to ensure that what we create is sustainable, what we create is financially and clinically viable, and actually is well led. So when we go through these processes of change in the future we will have to be willing to both flex and adapt, because I can’t tell what the future’s going to look like now, I think I’ve got an idea but I’m not 100% sure, but as we move into new models of care particularly with placed-based commissioning it’s going to be really important that GP organisations flex and change to meet those changing needs.