This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP leaders to consider encouraging non-clinical GP partners to save partnerships

GP leaders will be voting on whether non-GPs should be actively encouraged to become partners in an effort to sustain the partnership model, at the UK-wide LMCs Conference next month. 

The agenda also contains a motion urging the BMA’s GP Committee ‘to petition the Government for less adversarial approach to adverse events’, in light of the Dr Bawa-Garba case, which saw a junior doctor struck off after being charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

Representatives from LMCs across the UK will gather in Liverpool on 9 March to vote on what will become GPC UK policy.

GPs in Hampshire and Isle of Wight have proposed the motion to ‘encourage non-GP staff to become partners to further increase the sustainability of the partnership model’, adding that the model is ‘the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering general practice’.

This comes after the health secretary announced a review into partnership model, alongside the BMA and the RCGP

However, practice managers have long been able to take on the role of partner, with a Pulse survey finding that 4% of practice managers had reached partner status in 2013.

Meanwhile, GPs in Avon have issued a motion concerning ‘the number of gross negligence manslaughter trials which involve members of the medical profession’ and called on the GPC to discuss a ‘less adversarial approach’ to patient deaths that ‘recognises the importance of system failures’.

Earlier this month, the health secretary ordered a ‘rapid review’ into the use of manslaughter charges against doctors to create ‘clarity about where the line is drawn between gross negligence manslaughter and ordinary human error’. 

The agenda also includes several motions on workload as part of a ‘themed debate’ calling on the GPC to ‘invest time in defining "safe working levels" for GPs’, with GPs in Sandwell calling for ‘13 consultations per session in 2018, falling to 9 consultations, each of 15 minutes duration by 2020’. 

This comes as Pulse revealed that the BMA is working to draw up guidance to help GP practices manage their workload to safe limits, enabling GPs to set a capacity limit on the number of patients seen in a day. 

Local GP leaders will also raise concerns about high levels of practice closures, and new online GP services that 'cherry pick the patients to whom they offer services'.

Other motions to be debated include urging the GPC to examine the new Scottish contract, looking at how elements of it could be incorporated into the English contract negotiations.

The new Scottish contract, which was green-lit by GP leaders in January, will see GPs directly reimbursed for practice and staff expenses, a move away from GPs owning premises and a focus on the GP as an expert medical generalist at the head of a multidisciplinary team. 

Contract negotiations in England are still ongoing, with Pulse reporting last week that the GPC had told GPs at their ‘roadshow’ events that they can expect ‘minimal changes’ to their contract from April.

Click here to read the motions in full

Readers' comments (18)

  • It would help with sharing responsibility (workload to some extent) and profits ie if the GP Partners are willing to reasonably share profits with non-GP Partners.
    However,it does not protect a single- hander from losing a Contract in case of accident or illness.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I would propose that GMC/PMS should not be restricted to unlimited liability partnerships.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Green-lit!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And quite how are GP leaders going to actively encourage Partnership?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Does than mean we could potentially have partnerships with no GP partners in them!Cant see how this would work.Now being able to form a LLP that would be attractive compared to the sword of damaceles we have over our heads with redundancy costs and premises/lease commitments.Due to under-funding and the service of our our penance the current model of primary care is currently unattractive to new GPs .god knows it not attractive to those of us stuck in it as well.Is this all these GP leaders can come up with, pathetic.This will not address the issues.Think again,working at scale is very unattractive as well.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Not many of the few new GPs coming through the system want to enter into building ownership. Not surprising as the next generation are having enough trouble funding houses to live in. Solution is to buy us all out of our premises and run all practices as if they were in state owned health centres. Non-clinical partnerships are too difficult, how do you divvy up profits in proportion to workload if some are not seeing any patients?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • That partnership with non-gp partners on the contract could be a major loophole to privatize - maybe that's what the hunt is about - looking for loopholes!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Wow fab idea, employees become partners, but can’t see patients. General Practice is saved. WTF NEXT?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don’t think this is a bad idea.
    I personally would not take non clinical people as partners, but haven said that, what’s wrong in having your ANP or practice managers as partners. There is a level of ownership that they will have towards the practice, and if people are worried about profit sharing, you can always have fixed share partnerships, with carrots and sticks in the contract.
    As far as loopholes of LLPs go, if we can have GMS/ PMS contracts as LLP or Limited companies, would help massively with tax and pensions. Might not be as bad as it sounds

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The concept of part-time partners has not been fully sorted; non-doctor partners would not really be 'partners' as they cannot be equal partners, and basically the current contract imposes duties on the Doctor-partners that cannot be realistically imposed on non-doctor partners.
    If the problem is truly with premisses ownership (and I am certain it is not!) then an LLP can be set up separate to the clinical partnership to hold the premisses, including maintenance - and partners in the Property LLP would nbe equal partners, but GMS (and PMS) contracts still require a proper 'Partner' to be able to undertake doctor duties and be registered with the GMC with a license to Practice GP. That cannot be avoided in current NHS and GMC regulations. Any Nurse taking on such responsibility would risk losing NMC registration just for becoming a partner.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say