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GPs go forth

Practices forced to repel CCG’s push for hospital takeover

Exclusive GPs from 29 practices have refused to be taken over by a hospital trust, despite a push by the CCG to create a new accountable care organisation in the area to help plug a deficit, Pulse has learnt. 

NHS North Tyneside CCG is consulting on introducing a ’primary and acute care system’ (PACS)-style organisation to launch within the area from 1 April 2016, which would be led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. 

Under the proposals, the trust would either employ or subcontract the 29 practices in the region to provide primary care services in the new accountable care organisation (ACO).

However, an LMC-led meeting with representatives from all the CCG member practices decided that local GPs would refuse to agree to join the model from April and that they would explore whether an ‘option B’ GP-led model could be an alternative. 

It comes as NHS England are pushing for hospitals and GPs to form ‘accountable care organisations’ that will provide both primary and secondary care services, which it detailed in its Five Year Forward View, while its chief executive Simon Stevens said that ’blurring boundaries’ between the two was ‘mission-critical’. 

Following the publication of NHS England’s plans, GP leaders warned that practices risk being ‘devoured’ by trusts.

According to the LMC, the CCG has said that setting up one of these PACS-style organisations was the best way to attract funding, which is needed to close a ‘substantive’ financial deficit - which Pulse understands is £17m.

But the LMC has said it was not reasonable to expect GP practices to accept that there was ‘only one show in town’ and jump into a hospital-led model within such a short timeframe and without the chance to look into alternatives.

As a result of the proposals, the LMC held an emergency meeting.

Following the meeting, Newcastle and North Tyneside LMC chief executive Dr George Rae said there was opposition to the CCG’s proposals.

He added: ’We are saying if it has got to be an ACO, and there has got to be a pilot on 1 April, then no, because we’ve got to have adequate time and we will want to know what are the alternatives.

’It was felt by all that this is much too soon. Across England, doctors know they can’t stand still and they are looking at new models of care. They are starting to look at options, but elsewhere they are not feeling that there is a time sword hanging over them that says it has to be done and dusted by April next year.’

The CCG has said it is working with the LMC and TyneHealth GP Federation as well as Newcastle Hospitals, Northumbria Healthcare, North East Ambulance Service and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trusts

Dr John Matthews, clinical chair of NHS North Tyneside CCG, said that the GP federation, which includes all 29 member practices, has agreed to join a programme board for the setting up of the ACO, adding: ’In view of our financial deficit, we are keen to work with all providers to put a sustainable solution in place as soon as possible.’

He added: ’The CCG was not formally represented at the meeting and we have not yet received feedback from it.’

A spokesperson for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: ’We can confirm that we are in positive talks with NHS North Tyneside CCG relating to a potential accountable care organisation model. These conversations are at an early stage and very much in their infancy.’


Readers' comments (20)

  • Oh I don't understand anymore. I thought GPs commissioning services was the great panacea, how can being employed by hospital trust be anything than huge conflict of interests?

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  • The GP's should get together and create a Multispecialty Healthcare Provider via their Federation.

    That's the obvious strategic move.

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  • Salute the guts of the 29 Practices who are standing up for their views and choice.
    Just goes to show to what extent CCGs are 'GP organisations'..... I bet the Federation there is also formed by local LMC and CCG leaders.

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  • Public sector hospital management taking over GP surgeries. What could possibly go wrong?

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  • Look at the CCG's financial position!

    Smart rats would be well advised not to hop on to this sinking ship.

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  • absolute conflict of interest - when I was a partner in the days of fund holding - we saved £10,000 pounds per partner (there were 5 of us) per year for 2 yrs -we had a brilliant fund manager who was worth her wight in platinum who checked every invoice -we saved a total of £100,000 in 2 yrs by not paying hospitals for things they had billed us for but not actually done - this suggested arrangement of hospitals employing practices strikes me a way of guaranteeing hospitals their income stream -which is not unreasonable but could be open to very significant abuse

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  • Sound like NHSE,The CCG + the LMC are going against the wishes of the vast majority of the grass roots.Democracy in action,haw sad.These major changes need to be done by concensus not by dictating spue up back of a fag packet government policy and trying to sell it as original though and the only show in town.If I remeber rightly our local LMC sold the health and social care ace like this and look at the mess we are in after listening to them and not fighting it.Some time I wonder who the LMCs are representing.

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  • Vinci Ho

    The spin of politics is not going to stop from the day the Five Year Forward View was announced. Whether it is PACS or MCP as an ACO(you just 'love' these stupid jargons!), it still begs the question of whether there will be adequate funding and tools to sustain services .Efficiency can only be improved to a certain maximum and never reaches the ideal 100% . Otherwise , further stealth funding cut will erode into the core and efficiency as well as effectiveness go down instead. That is just common sense .
    Bottom line is even Stevens himself has doubts about the feasiability if this government is to carry on with its economic policy of austerity . A forward view remains as a view and can very easily become out of touch with reality .....

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  • Hi Anonymous 10:41. I don't know what your LMC said about the health and social care act but ours presented the risks very clearly to the membership.
    If you take a look at the front page of the Times today you will see the problems of conflicts of interest and bad publicity that we warned about.
    The next big headline will be 'GPs refuse patients care in order to balance CCG budgets' probably with the second line being 'whilst awarding themselves billions of pounds that used to be spent in hospitals.
    We need our LMCs to be well supported by the membership as we are going to have some tough times ahead

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  • @10:32- A sinking ship is there to lure GPs on board because when it sinks - the GP bit will be sold to (probably) the most efficient AQP - United Health rubbing hands in the corner already. That's 5 year plan by hook or crook Tory style.
    Glad they can't auction England to private providers or they would even have done that.

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