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Survey casts doubt on GP leadership potential

23 January 2012

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Only a small number of GPs are interested in leadership positions at a national and local level, research by the Family Doctor Association (FDA) shows.

The survey of over 300 GPs found over 90% of GPs have “some interest” in commissioning.

Yet just 7% of those polled are interested in national involvement and 11% in local involvement.

Almost 9% of GPs said they had “no interest in commissioning at all”.

GP partners were also found to have the highest level of commissioning knowledge (49%) when compared to salaried GPs (25%) and portfolio GPs (21%).

The FDA has warned the system will need to find ways to “work with all GP types” if it is to be “truly clinically-led”.

Overall, four out every ten GPs said they have “sufficient knowledge” about clinically-led commissioning.

However, over half of the GPs surveyed have called for more information into how GP commissioning will impact frontline primary care.

The top three learning requests from all GPs were: 

· A Commissioning for Dummies guide/Nuts and Bolts courses on commissioning.

· More information about how the changes will affect their patients.

· Information wanted about how the changes will affect GP clinical work.

“Over 90% of GPs have some interest in commissioning,” said Dr Peter Swinyard, Chair of the FDA.

“This gives hope for the future of patient care and general practice in a hostile political climate, showing that most GPs, whatever their opposition to the Health Bill, think that clinically-led commissioning will come.”