It is likely the NHS Alliance and National Association for Primary Care (NAPC) will form an ‘interface organisation’ to cement their aim to “counteract the dangers of centralism”, it is claimed.
Michael Sobanja, Chief Executive of the NHS Alliance, claims the local focus of commissioning needs to be protected and preserved in the face of the National Commissioning Board’s increasing powers.
“We are meeting soon to put the nuts and bolts on what we are trying to do,” he said.
“It is likely that we will form an interface organisation.”
Sobanja told GP Business that the organisation needs to be ready to speak out and “name and shame” when the balance between centralism and localism goes wrong.
“We don’t want to do what politicians do and focus too much on the structure of the thing and forget what we are trying to do in the first place,” he said.
“Personally I am relaxed about whether there is a new organisation or not, we just need to get our act together.”
Sobanja argued the critics of the Health and Social Care Bill underestimate the public in their response to the GPs move to improving population health rather than individual health.
“If you tell people that we are operating on a fixed budget and we have to get a good return on investment then I think the majority of people will understand that dynamic,” he said.
“We are already starting to see a shift in public attitudes towards healthcare – a possible side effect of the global financial crisis.”
He warned, however, that the communication needed to allow this shift in thinking is “nowhere near sufficient enough” at this moment in time.
In weaning the public off their over-reliance on hospitals, Sobanja also admits services outside of hospitals in an out-of-hours setting have “got to do better”
“PCTs have not done as well with 24 hours primary care as I expect CCGs to do,” he said.
“It is a big responsibility that GPs have got to shoulder but you can either say I want to just treat people who come through my door – and that is where it begins and ends, or look to improve the health of your wider community.
“I think most GPs are up for the latter.”