NAPC proposes radical plans for primary care
By Gareth Iacobucci
GP leaders have unveiled a radical new model for primary care, with practices able to manage large chunks of the local healthcare budget and attain the status of ‘foundation practices'.
The National Association of Primary Care has proposed GPs are given more freedom to design services and manage ‘capitated budgets' for their local communities.
The ideas were launched at the NAPC annual conference in Birmingham today and were welcomed by a Government minister who said they would look at the idea ‘closely'.
The manifesto calls for the development of ‘community health collaboratives' with PCTs setting the outcomes they want to achieve.
GP practices would then receive budgets for the whole patient pathway and be able to design services and manage the reinvestment of any freed-up resources achieved.
Successful practices would then be able to attain the status of a ‘foundation practice' if they can demonstrate they have the ‘appropriate quality' of services in a similar way to hospital trusts.
NAPC chair Dr Jonny Marshall said PBC needed to be ‘resurrected' and this was a way of ensuring GPs were given more freedom to locally manage PCT resources.
‘Practices will not only be responsible for the care they deliver, but also for their impact on the finances of the health system.
‘We need to focus on transforming the health service rather than re-disorganisation,' he said.
Health minister Mike O'Brien said he welcomed the idea of transferring greater independence to practices from PCTs.
‘We will want to look at the idea with a great deal of care,' he said.Dr Johnny Marshall