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Primary care leaders launch bid for MCP to fight ‘unwieldy’ STP proposal


By Carolyn Wickware
28 July 2017

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Primary care leaders have formed an alliance against regional healthcare leaders to stop ‘huge and unwieldy’ plans to create an integrated community and mental health provider in the area.

The alliance is planning to bid for a multispecialty community provider (MCP) contract as an alternative to the sustainability and transformation partnership’s (STP) larger scale plans.

Primary care leaders have formed an alliance against regional healthcare leaders to stop ‘huge and unwieldy’ plans to create an integrated community and mental health provider in the area.

The alliance is planning to bid for a multispecialty community provider (MCP) contract as an alternative to the sustainability and transformation partnership’s (STP) larger scale plans.

University Hospitals of North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and North Staffordshire GP Federation have all joined the alliance to back a North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent MCP.

According to a statement from the local GP federation, the alliance is concerned a community and mental health provider, which could cover all of Staffordshire and Shropshire, will ‘significantly inhibit’ a more local integrated primary care system.

The statement says: ‘We believe that it will be impossible for the proposed new organisation to have a local focus.

‘We need community services that command the respect of our primary care services. We are looking to develop totally integrated teams.’

It adds: ‘We believe that the savings identified through the merger plan – even if they could be achieved – are miniscule in comparison to the savings that a properly constructed MCP will deliver.’

Although an MCP was proposed in the region’s STP plans submitted last year, Dr Chandra Kanneganti, chair of North Staffs GP Federation, told Healthcare Leader that the budget deficit in Staffordshire left the STP ‘unable to provide funding for the MCP’.

Staffordshire is one of 13 areas involved in the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP), in which NHS England officials are instructing local commissioners and providers on how to make significant savings behind closed doors.

All thirteen areas are considered to be facing some of the largest deficits in England.

Dr.John Oxtoby, University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) medical director, said: ‘UHNM is supportive of the Northern Staffordshire MCP. Specifically we believe that the development of fully integrated community services based around practices and patients, and collaborating to form locality hubs is key to providing the best care within the community and avoiding unnecessary and sometimes harmful hospital admissions.’

He added: ‘Furthermore we believe that the Northern Staffordshire footprint is the correct basis to develop this MCP because of the long standing collaborative relationships, understandings and common pathways between GPs and other organisations in this region.’

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust said in a statement that they are ‘fully supportive’ of the MCP.

The statement said: ‘We believe that in order to solve the long standing issues within the local health economy, we need strong and resilient primary care.’

It added: ‘It is also acknowledged that local communities within Northern Staffordshire need a stronger voice in how health and social care is provided. This is why we strongly support a primary care led, Northern MCP.’

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