Many GPs and specialist advisers have thus far been sceptical about forming federations, but time has moved on and we for one support the principle, but why? Let us make one matter clear – Federations are for everything beyond the Primary Medical Service contract so that individual practices remain independent and retain their special character. In a merger situation identity is lost and the merged practice becomes much more difficult to manage.
Practices who embrace provisioning are most likely to maintain earnings. General practice cannot survive on the core contract. However, the whole issue is about population coverage. Thus, even the largest practices are unlikely to be successful in a contract bid on their own. There is also doubt whether QIPP can be delivered without working together. Negotiations with Community Providers and Foundation Trusts, not CCGs are the key and contacts will only be won on population coverage. Otherwise, work will be lost to general practice and the private providers will step in.
There is no denying that there are pitfalls and mistakes will be made. But if everything is set up properly there are some key benefits, such as: –
- Provides a vehicle and skills to successfully bid for services.
- Protects and grows GP income streams.
- Keeps out corporate competition.
- Uses size as a strength to reduce expenses and avoid duplication.
- Provides a platform for innovation.
- Supports practices in providing quality services for all patients.
- Locally run, by local GP practice stakeholders, to meet local needs.
We believe that federation is an opportunity for GPs and practices to lead the way. If you would like a copy of our Brief Guide give us a call. Better still, if you would like us to put on a seminar for you and your colleagues, with experienced experts, then again why not call us. The subject will not go away and we do not want to be too late!