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Superpractice plans halted after fierce opposition from GPs

The creation of a new GP superpractice in Manchester has been halted after fierce opposition from local GPs. 

NHS Trafford CCG had planned to commission a new primary care organisation (PCO) to encompassing all 32 practices in the area, covering a population of 238,000.

The PCO would hold the GP contracts with the CCG and act as the functioning provider of primary care in the area. 

But an independent review found that ‘over half’ of GPs ‘expressed anger’ towards the approach of the development of the PCO, with ‘a significant number feeling they were misled’.

GPs called for an immediate stop to the development of the PCO and a transition of the focus onto neighbourhood development.

The review, carried out by Community Health Partners on behalf of the CCG, found that there was ‘sometimes fierce’ criticism of the previous leadership within the CCG and that lack of trust was a ‘significant issue’.

The PCO project was led by former CCG lead and Trafford GP Dr Nigel Guest, who stepped down from his role earlier this year. 

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Nearly all practices participating in the review either didn’t understand the proposition for the new care organisation, or said that their priority was to have a more ‘neighbourhood’ voice in Trafford rather than ‘one voice’ across the system. 

The review said that ‘most neighbourhoods feel that they would like to determine the leadership within their neighbourhood, rather than the arrangements for a top down process’.

But it added that there was a majority view that some sort of PCO would be needed as ‘the strategic voice at the table’ with the bigger system players.

GPs in the area also said that any future model of care would need to have leadership which was ‘broadly approved of’ by the practices, neighbourhood representation at a strategic level and a way of releasing funds rapidly to primary care. 

They also said it would require a more trusting relationship with the CCG going forward.

An NHS Trafford CCG spokesperson said: ‘At the last meeting of the governing body, it was agreed that Trafford CCG would fully accept the review’s recommendations. 

‘We also welcome the fact that the independent review recognises the changes the CCG operates and we note the increasing optimism in the CCG.

‘Our aim now is to continue building a good relationship with GPs, support the transformation process across Trafford and ensure the borough’s residents have access to the finest health service possible.’