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Independents' Day

GP partnerships will be gone in ten years, says NHS England official

GPs’ independent contractor status will be ‘probably be gone’ within ten years, NHS England’s deputy medical director Dr Mike Bewick has claimed.

Speaking at the Westminster Health Forum conference in London yesterday, Dr Bewick said that the current organisational structure of primary care is no longer ‘sustainable’ or ‘desirable’, partly due to the ongoing GP recruitment crisis.

He added that he expects new provider organisations to develop within a decade because the current model will not serve the patients’ needs, adding that the difficulties of recruiting GP partnerships will consequently mean that ‘we’ll have to think of something different’.

Dr Bewick told delegates: ‘The current organisational structure of primary care is no longer sustainable or, increasingly, desirable. I am going to say just two things that I think are going to be true: one is that in 10 years’ time the term independent contractor will be anachronistic and probably it will be gone. And the second is that we won’t talk about primary care, we will talk about out-of-hospital provision and out-of-hospital providers.’

He also said that he expects each new provider model to accommodate around 300,000 patients - similiar to CCGs

‘In primary care at the moment, more than 50% of doctors are salaried,’ he said. ‘There will be a force majeure that will move away from a partnership type organisation because it will not serve them and equally when you can’t recruit to partnerships, it will mean we’ll have to think of something different.’

However, despite proposing a move to larger primary care organisations, Dr Bewick said that this would not be at the expense of local healthcare services.

‘I don’t think we should confuse that with not delivering healthcare by people you know in your locality. Localism is in my blood.  

‘We should be forming organisational mergers with either community trusts or secondary care, or with other providers from other sectors. Providing they have the values of the NHS at their heart, I am not too worried about who delivers but more how it’s delivered and the outcomes for patients.’

Professor Clare Gerada last year said that all GPs should become salaried in her last speech as chair of the RCGP, comments that her successor Dr Maureen Baker rebuked shortly after taking office,



Readers' comments (69)

  • Vinci Ho

    Kissinger , let's have a referendum on this.

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  • GP's will be gone, never mind partnerships

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  • Will not have functioning primary care or community care before this time thanks to the meddleing of the torries and the commisars.

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  • Dr Bewick speaks as if he has no part in this. On the contrary, general practice will be gone because he and his dirty cronies are driving the whole system hard in that direction to suit their personal ideologies/spites/agendas

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    Today I heard of a newly qualified GP accepting a salaried post for £6.5k a session, yes that's £52k! And wait another practice offered £6k, that's £48k. Ay dios mio!

    Make a plan B pronto!

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  • It's almost like it is nothing to do with them. The NHS has stolen our livlihoods. It is prepared for big business to move in , once GPs have been bankrupted.

    It seems there is no concern for the GP, should they lose their family's assets . He thinks we will dust ourselves off and work for peanuts for a private primary care provider.

    Given that treatment I predict most of our GPs will be patients, consuming the resources of the mental health team. I doubt they will be working in this country.

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  • The Agenda of NHS England is finally out in the open.

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  • Its hardly a secret. NHSE have been obsessed with economies of scale and this is part of that noise.

    The little thing they forget is cost, any model outside partnership is hugely expensive - including nurse led services.

    Berwick is a part of the problem. The medical education establishment also need to be blamed.

    If anyone's worked in countries where there is no structure you realize what NHSE are trying to create. The dogma of chaos - pure right wing fantasy stuff.

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  • Bring it on Berwick.

    Only one pension contribution
    No year on year organisational changes and hassle
    No need to take responsbility for a building or such problems.

    If you try and put forced evenings and weekends on us me and my GP wife will both be out of this country pronto.

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  • They will need 1.5 salaried GPs for every current partner in the UK.

    Let's see how they achieve that in a recruitment crisis.

    Divide and Rule lives on, propogated by NHSE QUANGO doing Govt's dirty work.

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