Introducing GP View

I used to write a personal blog, from the perspective of a hospital CEO, and found there was lots of interest in reading about my personal experience of running hospitals. Now I’m involved in the world of general practice, helping to support a large GP partnership in the midlands, so I’m seeing the same issues and challenges from a different perspective.


Our Health Partnership (OHP) was set up in late 2015, so it’s very new and we are finding our way. It’s exciting as we believe we have found a way of supporting general practitioners to continue to work in locally independent, partner-based practices, while also benefitting from the economies and support that large scale can bring. The journey is a challenging one though, because we are new, and large, and very often there is no existing process in place to cater for our particular needs.


Unsurprisingly there is a lot of interest in what we are doing, and many people have suggested I should re-start my blog and share the progress we are making.


But the whole area of how GP should develop in the future is a live one. Is the current model, of GMS-based practice, a sustainable one? Can small practices survive and thrive or is ‘at scale’ practice the future? And what about the new integrated providers that are described in the Five Year Forward View? How does general practice fit with these and how is it able to shape the transformation of healthcare via the Sustainability and Transformation (STP) programme?


All of these are important and pressing questions, and they are being debated informally all the time. And they need to be because there is no single solution, that works for all people in all localities.


GP View aims to be the forum for debate about all matters connected with the future of general practice. Much broader than a personal blog site, but with something of the informal feel that these tend to have – a platform for an ongoing conversation about the future of general practice.


I will write an article each month to share my experiences of establishing a very large partnership – how are we delivering benefits to partners and how we see the future development of the organisation. But GP View will bring in other opinions too, from others who see the future for their locality in a different way, with different models of general practice that work, or don’t work, for them.


And to add grit to the discussion, we will hear from GP commissioners, from Local Medical Committees, and from GP ‘sceptics too. We will also bring in GP researchers and GP educationalists – a bit of hard evidence to balance the anecdote! And I know some very thoughtful and articulate individuals who will bring a patient perspective to the debate. Important as we are all ‘patients’ of general practice of course!


We will seek views from the STP programmes around the country, and always search out informed opinion wherever we can find it. And we will bring perspectives from those who work closely with general practice, as non NHS providers of goods and services. Certainly in OHP we are finding that a number of well-chosen partners adds great strength to the partnership.


We aim for one new opinion piece each week, and we will encourage and support comments and debate around these. At the same time we will signpost articles, blogs, documents and other items of interest, making this a ‘must visit’ site for all those interested in the future of general practice.


There is no editorial line, other than a ‘can do’ perspective and a willingness to debate and challenge opinions around the future development of general practice. To coin a phrase, this site will be ‘all about the conversation’!


Mark Newbold  (Editor at GP View)


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