WORKFORCE: Health leaders in Greater Manchester want their GPs to become an “early adopters” of the government’s new contract.

The region’s devolution team have asked GPs to submit proposals to form integrated care providers within their neighbourhoods, in line with the new contract offer announced by the prime minister in October.

Manchester

Central Manchester

GPs in Manchester are likely to submit proposals for integrating care

As part of the plans, HSJ has been told leaders are considering a buyout of privately owned GP premises.

A letter sent to practices late last month stressed the process will be voluntary, but said the “intention is to identify a number of areas who implement new models of integrated care in shadow form from April 2016”.

The new contract is offered to multispecialty community provider type models, which also involve community, social care and mental health workers.

This is already underway in Stockport, as part of the national vanguard programme.

Integrated teams operating at neighbourhood level would provide a foundation for the development of “local care organisations” operating at a borough level, the letter says.

GPs within the city of Manchester are likely to submit proposals, along with the strong GP federation in Bury, HSJ understands.

Tracey Vell, chair of the association of Greater Manchester local medical committees, who also signed the letter, said: “I don’t see everyone going to do this on mass, but some areas really strongly want to go for this and trial a new contract.

“It’s a fairly flexible offer, so some GPs might want to work through a federation and others might want an NHS trust to hold their contract.”

She also confirmed that a major buyout of GP premises is being considered by regional leaders, which could encourage practices to join together in fewer locations. There are 550 primary care buildings in Greater Manchester, of which around half are owner occupied.