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Portsmouth health and city officials take first step towards accountable care system


By Carolyn Wickware
15 May 2017

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The local trust and city officials are in talks with GPs in Portsmouth over forming a ‘virtual’ new model of care that will cover 200,000 patients this year.

NHS Portsmouth CCG and the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance have decided to sign a ‘virtual’ multispecialty community provider (MCP) contract with Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council that would see GPs in the area working at scale and offering extended opening hours.

The local trust and city officials are in talks with GPs in Portsmouth over forming a ‘virtual’ new model of care that will cover 200,000 patients this year.

NHS Portsmouth CCG and the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance have decided to sign a ‘virtual’ multispecialty community provider (MCP) contract with Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council that would see GPs in the area working at scale and offering extended opening hours.

Last year, NHS England announced three types of MCP contract ‘fully integrated’, ‘partially integrated’ and a ‘virtual’ MCP contract.

CCG board papers clarified the virtual contract in Portsmouth will ‘overlay existing commissioned contracts through an alliance agreement’.

The Portsmouth MCP will be one of three areas in Hampshire involved with an MCP, including Gosport and East Hampshire – both part of the Better Local Care MCP pilot site.

Together, all three sights are looking into forming an accountable care system a part of the wider sustainability and transformation plan.

GP leaders in the area have said signing the ‘virtual’ contract this year in the form of a memorandum of understanding is just a ‘staging post before a full blown MCP’.

Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex local medical committee (LMC), said the MCP will focus on supporting general practice and reducing GP workload, ‘rather than the focus just being on reducing hospital admissions and A&E waits at hospital’.

He said: ‘One of the beliefs is actually if we have more support in general practice it will reduce the load on the hospital because there will be less people going there because we can deliver more in the community and, therefore, general practice has a bigger say in what goes on and has a seat at the table.’

He added that the MoU is still an ‘on going discussion between the CCG, LMC, trust and practices’ so there is no set date on when the contract will be signed.

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