Conference addresses growing crisis in GP sector
20th October, 2016
A GROWING crisis in the GP sector which could lead to hundreds of practices closing in the next three years is at the heart of a national conference being organised in York next month.
The National GP Federation Showcase, which takes place at the Royal York Hotel on November 29, is being organised by professional services specialists in the sector to help GPs and federations plot a course through the many challenges they face.
Law firm Ward Hadaway, specialist accountancy firm BW Medical and consultancy Scott McKenzie have joined forces to hold the event at a time when GPs are facing problems on a number of fronts.
Around 600 practices are at risk of closure by 2020 due to problems recruiting GPs, the Royal College of General Practitioners has warned at the same time as experts have said that the number of GPs needed to staff out-of-hours rotas needs to rise by a third to help meet increasing demands in urgent care.
Alison Oliver (pictured), Associate in the Commercial team at Ward Hadaway, who advises GPs on practice issues, said: “There is no doubt that GPs are facing a raft of challenges as they look to continue providing high quality care to patients in a rapidly changing health landscape.
“This conference aims to help suggest ways forward for practices as they grapple with the myriad demands of 21st century healthcare.
“As professionals who work with GPs day in and day out, we know what pressures they are facing so we have designed the event to help address those issues and enable GPs and practice managers to look at how others have gone about solving the problems they have to deal with.”
The showcase will hear from a range of speakers on the challenges facing GPs, including some of the leading figures in their fields, and will be chaired by the acclaimed Dr James Kingsland OBE.
The theme of this year’s event, which follows on from the successful inaugural showcase in 2015, will be ‘working at scale’ with attendees finding out what is involved in GP federations, how they operate and how they can help meet the challenges of practice life.
Scott McKenzie, who provided consultancy services to support the development of nearly 30 GP federations, a number of which he works hands on with to this day, said: “The question which we want to address with this event is ‘what does the future of general practice look like?’ because it is becoming increasingly apparent that ‘business as usual’ is not working.
“I work with practices right across the country and I don’t think there is any part of the country where there are GP practices which are not facing up to very serious issues.
“The National GP Federation Showcase aims to allow GPs and practice managers to hear from the doers, not the talkers – we have lined up people who have carried out major changes in their practices and federations who will outline what they have done, why they have done it and what the results have been.
“Hopefully this will give information and support to their fellow GPs who are considering working collaboratively but are unsure of how to progress or what issues they will face.”
Confirmed speakers for the event include Dr Sohail Munshi, chair of Manchester Primary Care Partnership; Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the Family Doctor Association, which is supporting the Showcase and Dr Mike Holmes, Clinical Lead for the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Supporting Federations programme.
The event is also being supported by Lloyds Bank whose head of healthcare Ian Crompton will speak at the event.
Keith Taylor, managing director of BW Medical Accountants, said: “We are really pleased to have been able to assemble a line-up of some of the foremost experts in the GP federation field to give our delegates the benefit of their experience across everything from clinical issues to financial and legal aspects.
“Last year’s inaugural National GP Federation Showcase demonstrated the appetite out there amongst GP practices to learn more about collaborating and federations and I think this year’s event will underline the growing importance of working at scale but crucially provide delegates with the practical steps they can take in order to achieve this for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Dr Peter Swinyard, chairman of the Family Doctor Association, said: “There is no question that GP practices are facing unprecedented challenges so an event like this which showcases new and innovative ways to deliver patient care is very much welcome.
“I think our members and other GPs and practice managers will really benefit from such a supportive environment and from hearing about how others have ‘been there and done it’ when it comes to creating and managing GP federations.”
The National GP Federation Showcase takes place at The Royal York Hotel in York on Tuesday 29 November.
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