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Call for practice staff to be offered profit shares

GPs should issue shares to practice staff and pay a dividend each year on profits, a leading health academic is arguing.

Professor Chris Ham, a former head of the Department of Health strategy unit, said the NHS should adopt the partnership ethos of department store John Lewis, where staff have shares and are rewarded when the company does well.

'Developing a partnership model in which doctors and other staff have an real stake in the success of their organisations should be the long-term goal,' said Professor Ham, professor of health policy and management at the Health Services Management Centre in Birmingham.

Professor Ham's comments came in a BMJ article on ways to save the NHS.

He told Pulse: 'GPs already have a stake because their model of working is different to other staff in the NHS.

'It is about aligning the goals of the staff. Issuing shares would give other practice staff

a sense of involvement and ownership.'

Dr Steven Ford, a GP in Hexham, Northumberland, said in the same BMJ feature that he wanted 'wholesale localisation' throughout the NHS.

He said: 'A coherent, locally responsive service directly answerable to users is preferable to a national business failure with a demoralised workforce.

'Let diversity flourish and to hell with the market.'

The NHS should abandon all 'pricing and invoicing' and promote a public sector ethos, he added.

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