With the latest data revealing that General Practitioners in England delivered an unprecedented 100m appointments between March and May, Consultant Scott McKenzie is warning GPs that it is time to take action.
NHS Management Consultant Scott McKenzie is warning that unless GPs act now, they will miss out on a golden opportunity to transform the way they work and better manage their unprecedented workload.
McKenzie has been advocating GP Federations for many years, setting up the first one in 2009 and subsequently advising another fifty-five federations on how to become multi-million-pound businesses, working with millions of patients across the country and cutting workloads by streamlining the care pathway and transforming care.
With all Integrated Care Systems founded on the registered list populations for General Practice it is essential that General Practice is represented at the table, but to do that they need to have a single, strong, coherent voice, which is exactly where a well-structured and highly functioning GP federation, working with the Local Primary Care Networks and the Local Medical Committee (LMC) fits.
Historically the lack of a cohesive approach has often meant General Practice doesn’t have that single voice, meaning local systems don’t know who to speak with or who to listen too. In turn that leads to work arriving in practices that hasn’t been agreed to or contracted for.
McKenzie believes GP federations, working with the Primary Care Networks and the LMC and the Integrated Care Systems could be the key to lifting the burden on the NHS. They work to give people the support they need, more efficiently and more promptly by supporting collaboration across local authorities, the NHS and other partners while removing the traditional divisions between hospitals and family doctors, physical and mental health and NHS and council services.
McKenzie says, “Thousands of GPs are overworked, for a variety of reasons, one of which is driven by the number of repeat times that they need to see patients who are waiting for appointments with other care providers. The new Integrated Care Systems have an opportunity to address this, but will they? One of the goals in Integrated Care is to reduce the number of avoidable referrals and admissions, while streamlining the patients journey so that instead of being seen numerous times by GPs they will be seen once or twice, with rapid access to diagnosis and treatment. This will require services being provided in new innovative ways through General Practice collaborating at scale as part of the Primary Care Networks and GP Federations. These services must target alleviating workload pressure on Practices and Hospitals. It is possible, I have many examples, but it needs General Practice operating at scale, with one voice, to deliver a high quality and standardised approach, without unwarranted variation.
“If GPs are to have a voice within the ongoing development of patient care they need to ensure they become part of the local provider collaborative as part of the development of the Integrated Care System, Now is the time to join those GPs who are already reaping the benefits of this new approach. Not acting now means the huge advantages and opportunities of working at scale through their Primary Care Networks and as part of a GP Federation offers will be missed and they will run the risk of not being part of the decision process of the Integrated Care System.”
Forward thinking GPs have already identified the benefits of working with the Primary Care Networks. Primary Care Warwickshire is just one of the successful Federations that McKenzie has advised. They now run cardiology diagnostics, insulin initiation and titration in diabetes, initiative GLP1 and an ear nose and throat service and are making staggering time savings. Before Primary Care Warwickshire was established, patients would wait an average of ten months for an ECG. Now the wait for the same ECG has been reduced to less than ten days.
To find out more about how to start the Federation process before the 1 April 2022 deadline for the formation of Integrated Care Systems visit www.scottmckenzieconsultancy.com
Notes to Editors
GPs who wish to form a Federation can be guided through the process with a series of workshops delivered by McKenzie. With the right advice starting a Federation can be implemented swiftly and indeed sixteen practices in Newcastle set up a Federation in just three weeks.
About Scott McKenzie
After 10 years selling to the NHS for major pharmaceutical companies, and 15 years embedded within the NHS as a management consultant, Scott McKenzie has unrivalled insight of the challenges faced by all sides involved in the NHS industry.
Scott has helped many GPs, PCNs and GP federations generate £millions in new contracted business and develop sustainable general practice and he has supported pharma, med tech and device firms to land their value-added projects and pathways NHS projects.