General Practice is an integral part of the provider landscape of North West London. It is the first and main point of contact for most people. GPs often build the deepest relationships with their patients, know them for many years, and see them through a variety of life stages and ailments. A core principle of whole systems integrated care is that GPs will be at the centre of organising and coordinating peoples’ care. Developing General Practice so that professionals can work more collaboratively with other providers is a vital step to implement whole systems integrated care.
This chapter will present the case for change for GPs in North West London, the organisational models that they could use, and will provide an overview of the resources available for GPs. The information in this chapter should be used to gain an understanding of how GPs could organise themselves into networks, and what the benefits are of them doing so. Further detailed information is available in a separate GP Network Development Toolkit which is discussed in the box below and at the end of the chapter.
Benefits of GPs working networks
GP networks will improve care for service users and make life easier for GPs. The benefits identified below were developed with input from GPs and other clinicians in the GP network working group.
- Helps GPs provide seven day care by allowing them to share workload
- Provides a stronger seat for GPs within any larger provider network than individual practices would have on their own
- Provides economies of scale through sharing resources such as HR, finance, and other corporate support functions
- Improves ability to comply with new national standards and policies, e.g., minimum staffing levels, appointment scheduling, case management
- Creates a forum for GPs to discuss complex cases and get advice from other clinicians (similar to MDG’s in the Integrated Care Pilot.