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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs want to remain independent but collaborate more, shows BMA survey

GPs want to remain independent contractors but collaborate more, a BMA survey of 5,000 GPs has indicated.

When asked which one model of general practice they would like to see developed for the future, 60% of respondents gave their support to the independent contractor model.

Around a third each of all respondents to the survey gave their support to the statements:

  • Current independent contractor model should be supported and given resources to collaborate in the form of GP federations or networks (33%)
  • Current independent contractor model of individual practices should be the prime model of general practices and should be supported and invested in (27%)

Only one-in-10 GPs agreed that the 'current independent contractor model of individual practices is too onerous and vulnerable, and alternative arrangements should be supported'.

But the Government's new voluntary contract model for practices with 30,000 patients or more, multispecialty community providers (MCPs) received low support. Some 14% of respondents chose the option that 'practices should form collaborative alliances with multi-professional healthcare staff to manage increasing care out of hours, such as MCPs'.

There was similarly low support for the notion of 'super-practices', with 11% choosing the option that 'current independent contractor practices should join to form legal alliances, such as super partnerships with sharing of clinical, management, HR and regulatory responsibilities'.

When given the option to choose three models for the future, working as independent contractors but with more resources for collaboration was supported by 50% of the respondents.

This also saw more support for the MCP contract as an alternative, with 32% of respondents picking this model in their top three.

According to the survey, GPs believe that benefits of closer collaboration includes the potential to reduce the bureaucracy of managing a practice (39%), cutting overall workload (37%), and providing a sustainable way to cope with extended access (34%). Just under a third (32%) also believe they can provide greater security and sustainability of practices within a larger organisation, said the BMA.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the results 'demonstrate a very strong desire from GPs to work collaboratively in a range of flexible settings'.

He said: '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.'

Dr Nagpaul pointed towards the GPC's existing advise on 'working at scale' and added that they will ' in the New Year develop further advice to support practices to take forward collaborative initiatives, including drawing upon transformation funds in the GP Forward View that should be made available from April 2017 onwards'.

The BMA survey questions in full

What model of general practice would you like to see developed for the future? Please select your top three options.
Current independent contractor model should be supported and given resources to collaborate in the form of GP federations or networks 50%
Current independent contractor model of individual practices should be the prime model of general practices and should be supported and invested in 47%
Practices should form collaborative alliances with multi-professional healthcare staff to manage increasing care out of hours, such as MCPs 32%
Current independent contractor practices should join to form legal alliances, such as super partnerships with sharing of clinical, management, HR and regulatory responsibilities 27%
The current independent contractor model of individual practices is too onerous and vulnerable, and alternative arrangements should be supported 17%
None of the above 4%
   
And which ONE model of general practice would you like to see developed for the future?
Current independent contractor model should be supported and given resources to collaborate in the form of GP federations or networks 33%
Current independent contractor model of individual practices should be the prime model of general practices and should be supported and invested in 27%
Practices should form collaborative alliances with multi-professional healthcare staff to manage increasing care out of hours, such as MCPs 14%
Current independent contractor practices should join to form legal alliances, such as super partnerships with sharing of clinical, management, HR and regulatory responsibilities 11%
The current independent contractor model of individual practices is too onerous and vulnerable, and alternative arrangements should be supported 10%
None of the above 4%

Source: BMA survey of 5,000 GPs

 

 

Readers' comments (5)

  • Mr Mephisto

    Turkeys like Christmas however they don't like getting plucked, stuffed, roasted or eaten.

    Not a surprise really.

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  • I surrender-life is like being "waterboarded by Jeremy Hunt"...all I can see is his bulging eyes and weird grin.

    Who cares any more what is decided...

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  • Just what we need another BMA survey,where's the action,where's the beef,give us a vote while you still have a profession Chand!

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  • I did respond to the aforementioned survey and my comment was:
    A stream of leading questions herding the sheep (sorry, GPs) to give the answer the BMA barons want to hear. Survey null and void due to blatantly obvious bias.

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  • "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." -- Charles Darwin

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