STRUCTURE: Commissioners in Somerset have agreed to double the funding for the county’s nine GP federations in 2012-13 to £500,000.

The federations are “loose associations” of GP practices in a locality that deal with local issues where appropriate and feed up to the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. Each receives £10,000 each plus more depending on the population covered by the federation.

The federations have between three and 17 practices. A recent survey by the PCT found widespread support for the operating model among GPs, PCT staff and other primary care professionals.

The memorandum of understanding with the CCG aims to seek a balance between supporting federations to have local freedom to choose the improvement projects that they will focus on, enabling the CCG to consult with the federations about local and county-wide commissioning matters, and building in opportunities for the CCG to ask federations to support issues affecting the wider NHS across Somerset.