New research suggests that around 70% of GPs and other critical staff working in 50,000 patient integration sites believe that the new model has improved their job satisfaction.
Research conducted by the National Association of Primary Care indicated that the new approach to work in this sector is benefiting both patients and staff alike.
NHS England has stated in line with this report that it believes practice groups serving between 30,000 and 50,000 people should become normal practice in the near future.
Earlier this month, primary care minister David Mowat told MPs that general practice would develop from the current 7,500 practices to 1,500 ‘super hubs’ serving around 40,000 patients.
There has been some opposition to this from healthcare groups and within the profession, but this latest research suggests that the scheme could ultimately be both popular and successful.
The primary care home model is based on a multi-specialty community provider programme that was introduced by NHS England back in 2015.
Fifteen rapid test sites had been set up at that time, with an extension to 92 in 2016, while there have been 15 further applications already submitted for the third wave of approvals.
Integration of primary, secondary and social care services are considered essential to the new system, while there is also an emphasis on personalised care and improved population health outcomes.
Shared budgets, risks and rewards are also central to the new ethos, with research from PA Consulting having discovered benefits across each of the initial test sites.
Both financial and staffing benefits have been noted, and it seems that the scheme has been an overwhelming success thus far.
NAPC chair Dr Nav Chana responded to the publication of the report, suggesting that is indicative of the ethos of this approach to primary care.
“This report provides confidence that the primary care home model is helping to make a real and much-needed difference to patients and staff as well as easing pressures on the wider health system. It shows that it is inspiring staff to embrace and own change at a time when it’s urgently needed.”
Chana also hopes that there will be an ongoing collaboration and healthy relationship between NAPC and NHS England.
“We welcome NHS England’s continued commitment to transforming primary care and its push for the roll out of models like NAPC’s primary care home programme.”
While NAPC president Dr James Kingsland spoke on the benefits for staff working within this system, and the advantages of integration.
“The rapid adoption and spread of primary care home demonstrates that this is what our colleagues have always been looking to do – a vehicle to deliver change that’s quick to get up and running, empowering for staff and patients and realistic in that it grows from established list-based practice.”