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RCGP and NHS England to produce guidance on becoming federations

GPs and practice staff are being asked what sort of support they feel they require to be able to move to working in federations as part of a project by the RCGP and NHS England.

NHS England is set to fund an RCGP federations support programme, with a survey launched to ascertain where practices are currently at in terms of the setting up of federations and what sort of support they feel is needed to progress further.

Set up with help from the Nuffield Trust, NHS England and RCGP hopes the survey will inform national analysis and debate and also inform ‘the type and nature of resources’ that will be created as part of the support programme. The same survey will be re-circulated in 2016, to determine what has changed.

Inviting practices to take part, the three organisations said that although ‘there is broad agreement that federations or networks of practices are the way forward’, ‘the challenges of creating a new organisation are manifold and we are aware that support and guidance is needed’.

They added: ‘The programme aims to support those practices that want to, to scale up into larger general practice organisations… Your views are invaluable in ensuring that the challenges and issues are properly understood at a national level.’

Both the RCGP and GPC have backed the NHS Five Year Forward View plan for GP practices to work together in federations, but the GPC has said practices were not getting enough support to set up new organisations and that, as well as information and advice, support should also include additional funding.