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Poor GP Performance: The Consequences

Poor GP Performance: The Consequences


Herding cats. When people talk about getting GPs to do anything collectively, the phrase "like trying to heard cats" follows accompanied by an eye-roll and a chuckle.

But the saying is used so commonly for a reason. Historically, it has always been difficult to marshal GPs into a particular way of behaving. 

Now a change in behaviour is required by law. But what will happen if certain GPs don't take the lead? Will they be charged with breaking the law and thrown in jail? Not likely. 

Leaving the legislation loose for 'innovation' has a downside in that many uncertainties remain, particularly what to do in the case where that innovation doesn't get off the ground.

There is little in the Act to deal with what happens if a GP, or a GP practice does not pull it's weight. The implication is that in order to have a contract with the NHS to provide GP services you must be part of a clinical commissioning group (CCG). 

But what if your CCG feels that your high referrals and poor attendance at CCG meetings is dragging down the whole organisation, threatening the qualification for the quality premium and therefore the capacity of the CCG to make a change? 

The GPs I have spoken to have it made very clear that while peer assessment it a useful tool to drive up quality, peer punishment is not something they want to get involved in. So this is one area which they are happy to push over to the NHS Commissioning Board?

It's up to the board to deal with those outlying 'cats', but it will have to tread a fine line or else it will be in danger of being accused of being heavy-handed. But maybe I am being too pessimistic and all GP practices will change behaviours and make time for CCG work.


Victoria Vaughan - Editor-in-Chief of GP Business MagazineVictoria Vaughan is an award-winning journalist with ten year's experience of reporting and writing on daily, weekly and monthly publications. Victoria has worked in both the UK and Singapore. As well as managing the GP Business magazine, she also oversees the primary care titles, Nursing in Practice and Management in Practice.


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