STRUCTURE: A new GP federation covering North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent is in talks with local health bodies to examine proposals for more integrated working.

Northern Staffordshire GP Federation, which was incorporated last month, will have up to 83 GP practice members across localities in Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire.

University of North Midlands Trust

The federation has met with the chief executive of University of North Midlands Trust

While formal agreements are still being sent out to potential members, HSJ understands that involvement in the federation is likely to be unanimously supported by all the region’s practices.

HSJ understands that Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire CCGs has set aside funding for each of the member practices, thought to be approximately £800,000, contingent on them delivering certain outcomes.

Dr Chandra Kanneganti, who recently stepped down from a leadership role at Stoke on Trent Clinical Commissioning Group to join the federation’s board, said discussions have begun with the region’s major acute and community trusts.

The federation, registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee, intends to merge the majority of practices’ back office functions and IT systems, Dr Kanneganti said.

He added that conversations had already taken place with senior leaders at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust and Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership over options for integrating primary and community care in the region.

He said: “We have had a meeting with the chief executive and the chief operating officer at UHNM, and there was an enormous enthusiasm to work together on this. We have workshops planned [to develop ideas].”

Dr Paul Roberts, the federation’s governance lead, said it also had “every intention” of working with third sector providers and local patient groups.

The federation’s board comprises nine GPs and two practice managers.

Both North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent CCGs have said they are committed to supporting primary care providers to work at scale and develop a multispecialty community provider.

A paper presented to Stoke on Trent CCG’s board earlier this month said it advocated the model to allow primary care to become sustainable, and meet the challenges of seven day working and “universal” coverage of enhanced primary care.