Smaller GP practices concentrating just on patients with complex conditions could bridge the gap between primary and secondary care, says NHS England’s long-term conditions tsar.
Dr Martin McShane, formerly a practicing GP in the peak district, told Pulse in an exclusive interview his plans for dedicated practices serving a list of around 400-500 patients drawn from local practices, which would receive more intensive care from a GP-led multidisciplinary team.
He said that these ‘complex care’ practice could offer much-needed opportunities for some GPs who might want to develop their skills and experience in caring for the most vulnerable and specialists looking to work in the community.
Dr McShane said: ‘If GPs want to step up to that and take that role, fantastic. And there are many GPs who would want to develop those skills and have the capacity and capability to deliver that service. But actually there may be people from [hospitals] who will see they could move [into the community].’
He added: ‘It’s about bridging the gap between the traditional role of general practice, which hasn’t gone away and has, in fact, become more complicated, and then this huge agenda of complex care.’
Dr McShane said the new enhanced service on unplanned admissions due to start in April would help to shift the focus onto complex patients, but stressed there was still a need to develop proper resourcing of dedicated multidisciplinary teams, with the medical profession at the helm.
He said: ‘If you look at what we’ve been trying to do, we’ve been nudging at this agenda, with community matrons, the Evercare model, with virtual wards and so on but the real thing that comes out of this is creating a proper focus with a registered list that you can build that team around.’