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Using partnerships to achieve sustainability within GP practices

Post date: 16/11/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

New Care Models: Ross Clark explains how GP practices can attain sustainability by assessing current skills and forming partnerships.

Full video transcript

There are concerns around the sustainability of GP Groups and the numerous iterations – can I have your thoughts about the next 2/3 years?

There is a great deal of concern across the country about the sustainability of GP practices. This is down to the fact that GP practices are facing huge pressures - regulatory, administrative, clinical – and the workload has just grown and grown. Linked with that, are two important factors. There’s a succession crisis where partners are retiring linked with a recruitment crisis where it is very difficult to get new partners or new GPs to come into the practice and that’s causing immense pressure on practices. Now the answer to this lies in primary care at scale - working with other practices or even merging with other practices so that you scale up the entity. That makes it more resilient, it provides more people in the organisation to do all the tasks that are required. People can specialise in what they’re good at so you might get a GP providing specialist services and another GP doing general practitioner work. You find practice managers who are really good at finance or CQC, and they can focus on that and deliver it for the whole group. And in that way you have people becoming more focussed and more expert in the areas that they deal with and providing that to the whole group and that provides benefit to all. If you look at the Sustainability and Transformation Plans you can see that this is the direction. The direction is towards more capitation-based contracts for all of out-of-hospital care across the whole community. Now, that leads to a threat because if practices aren’t formed together at scale, there’s a risk that they may lose out. But if they do get together at scale there’s huge opportunities also in that development as well.

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