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13.12.16

BMA recommends spending Forward View cash on GP collaboration

GP surgeries should be supported to form more collaborative relationships, BMA members have argued in a response to a new survey.

When asked which one model of general practice they wanted to see developed in the future, one-third of GPs chose the current independent contractor model, but with resources to form GP federations or networks.

In contrast, just 27% favoured more investment for independent contractors, while 10% said the current model should be completely replaced by alternate arrangements.

When asked what the benefits of collaborative GP alliances were, 39% of GPs replied that they could reduce bureaucracy.

Other possibilities included shorter workloads, weekend and evening appointments, greater security and sustainability and greater integrated working with multi-professional community staff.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA GPs committee, said: “These results demonstrate a very strong desire from GPs to work collaboratively in a range of flexible settings. There is support for the continuation of the current independent contractor model if GPs are given the resources and support they need to deliver an effective service to patients.

“Alongside this though, GPs also want to have closer ties with other practices and also with multi-professional healthcare staff. The benefits of developing these models is clear, especially as nearly four in 10 GPs believe that collaborative alliances are key to reducing bureaucracy and unnecessary workload.”

He added that in the New Year, the committee would produce advice on how practices can take forward collaborative initiatives, including drawing upon transformation funds in the GP Forward View after they become available in April.

The BMA has previously warned that almost 300 practices are financially unsustainable, while eight out of 10 GPs say that their workloads are so excessive that their patients’ safety is at risk.

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