Younger GPs may reject the independent contractor model and prefer to work in salaried positions, predicts shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.
He said that he believed GPs will start favouring direct employment as the NHS’s primary care and secondary care sectors gradually become more integrated.
The claim came as he fleshed out his proposals to put health and social care budgets together if Labour gain power, in an interview with First Practice Management magazine.
In a speech last month, Mr Burnham proposed to put health and wellbeing boards, which comprise of local authorities and CCG representatives, in charge of a single budget for health and social care in their locality.
He said: ‘[GPs] might want to spend part of their career in general practice and they might want to spend time working across secondary and primary care. I think the idea of direct employment is an interesting one and it may appeal to younger people.
‘Obviously there is a tradition of independent contractor status in the NHS, and if that works better in one local area then that’s fine. The future is going to demand much more integration.
‘As people get older and live longer their needs are going to become much more complex and they are going to need much more social, physical and mental support.
‘It won’t be good enough if these services are not integrated. Practices might be able to co-ordinate much more of a whole –person support (through social, physical and mental health care).’