GP networks could be answer to integrated care, report saysBMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1652 (Published 19 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1652
- Nigel Hawkes
A vision of future care in which general practices collaborate and absorb the budgets of community and social care to create “family care networks” offering wider services, closer to home, has been championed by the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund.
The aim, it says in a new report,1 would be to combine the traditional role of primary care at the heart of the NHS with a new architecture of healthcare delivery fit for an ageing population with a changing disease burden.
The recipe can be summarised as “GP federations plus.” The Royal College of General Practitioners has long championed the idea of general practices forming federations or networks, pooling resources and expertise to improve care. The new report allies this to the idea of integrated care, suggesting that the networks should also take over community care, parts of social care, and even some specialist care, leaving hospitals to deliver only the most specialised and complex services.