Thursday 6 January 2011

Talking to GPs!

I was a " keynote" speaker at a major event for GPs from pathfinder commissioning consortia today ( speaking just before Andrew Lansley MP ! ). The DH have brought them together as top consortia leaders to talk about the barriers and opportunities of the new commissioning arrangements.

The move to commissioning by GPs is a radical step- some say the most radical restructure in the history of the NHS. I'm not sure that the third sector has yet woken up to the opportunities this presents? Of course there are dangers; what do most GPs know about our sector? What has been their engagement with us so far; little I fear. Many are not tied into local networks of third sector or community groups.

Yet many are involved with the vast range of ACEVO members in health charities. Many of the CEOs of the Royal Colleges are ACEVO members ;including, usefully , the current CEO of the Royal College of GPs ( and soon the new CEO , our old friend Neil Hunt ). But this is a limited engagement with the sector as a whole for your average GP.

So we have to build a relationship almost from scratch. But there is real potential for very different styles of commissioning that build on public health and healthy living partnerships, that seek a fuller engagement with the sector in social care and recognise the massive contribution that the long term conditions charities bring.

My speech concentrated on the role of the sector in delivering services and acting as a voice for citizens and communities. I spoke about the need for GPs to think out of the box when commissioning and engage with the sector, whether in the community or with the many national health charities. I also want GPs to think how they interact and use community and sector bodies as representatives of citizens and communities. In making difficult decisions on scarce resources GPs will need to consult and involve.

But then again it's our job as a sector to be beating a path to the GPs door. Telling them how we can work with them. Support them. Give them solutions. We are not yet effectively doing this.

I stayed to listen to Secretary of State, Andrew Lansley MP. He gave an impressive outline of the reforms and the need for change. He was an excellent advocate for reform. I must say I came away with a strong sense of the potential and the possibilities for our sector to work with GPs. Let's grasp them. Carpe Diem comrades!

1 comment:

Milosevic said...

Congratulation Sir