The DDA will highlight the value of the partnership model to rural NHS general practice in its communications with the DHSC, chief executive Matthew Isom has said.
Isom said: “Rural practice and dispensing are entirely dependent upon the partnership model. The future of primary care must be responsive to local needs.”
In an interview in The Times newspaper, Shadow Secretary of State for Health Wes Streeting has called for a complete rethink of primary care, including phasing out the whole system of GP partnership, as well as removing GP ‘gatekeeper’ status, and implementing self-referral by the public to specialist services, and multidisciplinary health centres.
In the interview, he describes vaccinations as “money for old rope and a good money spinner”. He added: “Not unreasonably GP partners are thinking about the finances of their own practice. That’s totally reasonable but what matters to the patient is fast, accessible care, wherever that is.
“The truth is that the way that GP practices operate financially is a murky, opaque business. That [is] not a tolerable situation.”
Also defending the partnership model, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The partnership model allows GP teams to innovate and tailor care and services to their local patient populations, it is extremely good value for money for the NHS because it relies on the goodwill of GP partners going above and beyond. A recent independent review of the partnership model found it to be a viable one when resourced appropriately.”