GP Online: Where do GPs fit into NHS England’s plans?

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens told the House of Commons health select committee last month that he had a vision of how primary care in Birmingham might be delivered in future.

He envisaged two large groupings of GPs – the Vitality Partnership (see box below) and one other – 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 might then be told it could provide general medical services across the Birmingham CrossCity CCG area, where there is a bulge of GPs approaching retirement.

Mr Stevens admitted he had not discussed this in any great detail with people on the ground in Birmingham, but this is the sort of radical, locally driven overhaul of primary care services that NHS England’s Five Year Forward View blueprint for the health service outlines.

Jointly published with the CQC, Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, Public Health England and Health Education England, the document sets out new ways of working that the centralised health bodies hope will flourish organically around the country, with different geographical patches tailoring the models to their unique set of circumstances. On the face of it, there is much for GPs to like.

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