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Overcoming GP-ness

Editor Sue McNulty on how consortia need to decide how to make decisions

Size, governance, risk management. Those are the concepts that seem to be very much on consortia minds at the mo.

And then sometimes you just hear something really simple that just makes you think.

That moment for me was at the NHS Alliance conference pre-conference commissioning this month.

GP Dr Dinah Roy candidly said words to the effect of it did take us four years sometimes to get things off the ground under PBC because of PCTs, but it also sometimes took four years to get things off the ground because GPs couldn't agree among themselves.

I think she made a real point.

Our diarist, Dr Peter Weaving, in his December column – out the week after next – observes what he describes as ‘GP-ness' when he tries to get a new COPD scheme off the ground.

One practice writes in to his consortium overcome with enthusiasm and asking if they'll pay for everything including the stamps while another sends in a letter of complaint about the proposed scheme to the chief exec..

How are consortia going to manage that GP-ness? They need to think now how to make decisions. Ones that aren't going to please everyone, that might have to be decided by a majority vote or where the smaller ones are made on a day-to-day basis by a chosen few who report back to the rest once a month. But they need to recognise a process for doing it otherwise the consortia's golden age will just become one big committee meeting after another.

editor sue mcnulty editor sue mcnulty