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The case for Family Care Networks

Published: 21 February, 2014

Commissioning and funding general practice: making the case for family care networks, Kings Fund February 2014

This King’s Fund report by Rachel Addicott and Chris Ham anticipates the move towards federations of practices, responsible for care in the community 24/7. It proposes bringing together funding for general practice with funding for many other services, via new forms of commissioning, with GPs innovating in how care is delivered. Over time, the report foresees ‘family care networks’ emerging that provide forms of care well beyond those presently delivered by general practices”

Policy implications (as listed on the Kings Fund site):

  • A rapid, radical shift is needed from the current model of general practice to the use of federations and networks of practices able to work on the scale required for effective integration of services.
  • Without changes to commissioning and funding arrangements, the argument for new models of care will remain theoretical. At the heart of this approach is the use of a population-based capitated contract under which providers would be expected to deliver defined outcomes for the populations they serve.
  • Practices will need new skills in various areas: risk stratification of the population, quality improvement, collaborative working with other providers, greater capability in managing financial and clinical risks

The accompanying 4 page ‘summary’ on Joining up services in the community argues “that GPs should take the lead in developing care out of hospital by taking responsibility not only for their own services but for many other services used by patients in the community.”

For a quick read see Chris Ham in the HSJ

“Strengthening the role of GPs as providers requires practices to collaborate in federations to deliver services at scale. It also means practices working closely with community nurses, health visitors, allied health professionals, pharmacists, paramedics and social workers in “family care networks” to deliver most forms of care other than specialist expertise best provided in hospitals.”

Last updated: 21 May, 2018

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