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GPs are not “centre of the universe” says Lord

9 October 2012

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GPs have got to get away from thinking they are the “centre of the universe” if the personalisation and integration of care is to become a reality, warned Chief Executive of social enterprise Turning Point, Lord Victor Adebowale.

The cross-bench peer said the more the GP profession “holds itself to itself”, the more likely it is that we are going to see “hand offs between services, a wasting of public money and more people going without the healthcare services they need.”

Lord Adebowale encouraged GPs to see themselves as part of a local system of healthcare to further drive the integration of health and social care and bespoke services.

“Some [GPs] are starting to look up and embrace change yet some CCGs are really struggling with the shift in paradigm from which they were the centre of the universe and someone in which everyone came to them to a point where they need to open their minds to what social care, public health and local authorities can do,” he said.

Media doctor GP and member of Southwark CCG Dr Jonty Heaversedge agrees with Lord Adebowale.

“Doctors have always had this ego to contend with, which can sometimes be a positive thing,” he said.

“But what they do need to recognise is what they can’t do and identify who can do it best and get them to help you.”

Lord Adebowale – who is also a non executive director at the NHS Commissioning Board – also acknowledged the vested interests of hospitals in obstructing service change in the NHS under the reforms is a “risk”.

But he claimed the fact there is a push from GPs on CCGs to move care out and scale down hospital activity to more appropriate environments is a start.

“Health and Wellbeing Boards especially will start chipping away at that siloed mentality,” he said.

“It will not happen overnight but people need to be led through the changes rather than being beaten down.”