A Birmingham-based super partnership believes that it will become one of the first large-scale GP providers to register as a single entity.
Mark Newbold, managing director of Our Health Partnership, describes the new super partnership as a “newly registered single entity with 30 registered locations”.
At present, there are no ‘at scale’ GP providers registered as a single organisation with the Care Quality Commission.
But the CQC has yet to confirm whether the Our Health Partnership will be registered in this fashion.
Nonetheless, a spokesman commented on the issue, suggesting that this possibility was being examined.
“Given the changing environment in primary care with new care models there are many variations of model that are submitting registration applications.”
The regulator has confirmed that this new approach to registration will be discussed in the March consultation on primary medical services and adult social care regulation.
Looking to the future will be a real focus of the work of the regulator for the foreseeable future.
Our Health is one of the biggest GP partnerships in England with 33 practices covering a population of 285,000.
Despite the new approach to healthcare in the region, all of the practices within the partnership will retain ownership of their proprietary GMS contracts.
The aforementioned Newbold outlined the ethos related to this new partnership.
“The CQC are telling us that once we’ve got our monitoring system in place, essentially Our Health Partnership will self-declare, which will mean much less inspection visits for our practices as long as the data suggests that things are going along well there. What we’re planning to do with the accumulated savings, we will use that to appoint a quality officer so that will be the beginnings of a quality team to both collate data and do the monitoring function.”
More information is expected to be available in due course on whether or not it will be possible for Our Health to self-declare.
When asked whether the appointment of a quality lead would be a requirement for GP providers to be registered as a single entity, a spokesman on behalf of the Care Quality Commission was reluctant to provide a definitive answer.
“The CQC does not specify what organisational structure needs to be in place. We will assess if the provider and service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. How providers ensure this is a matter for them.”
It seems that Our Health is also currently consulting with numerous GP practices from outside of the Birmingham area, and that this may lead to the partnership expanding further still in the next financial year.