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A trainee GP has successfully been appointed as clinical director of a primary care network, it has emerged.
Hosting a Twitter chat on networks on 14 May, NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani said she is aware of cases where a trainee, a pharmacist and locum GPs have been named clinical directors within their networks.
When the new five-year GP contract was released in January, it was widely understood that networks would be led by a single GP in a clinical leadership role, according to information released by the BMA.
However, Dr Kanani later revealed that GPs will not have to be at the helm of networks, with ‘any clinician in general practice able to take charge’, she said.
As part of the contract, practices will be provided with extra funding to join networks, which will see groups of practices serve between 30,000 and 50,000 patients.
All networks must appoint an accountable clinical director, who will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of local services, by 15 May. CCGs will then have until 31 May to confirm registration requirements and approve variation to GMS, PMS and APMS contracts for all networks.
According to NHS England’s GP contract, the network clinical director will work with member practices to ‘improve the quality and effectiveness of the network services’.
The contract states: ‘Primary care network clinical directors will provide strategic and clinical leadership to help support change across primary and community health services.’
Pulse reported in March that CCGs in some areas of England have been trying to ‘manipulate’ new primary care networks to ensure they align with their own plans.
It was also reported that CCGs were trying to force practices to form networks without consideration for working relationships or GP opinions.
Meanwhile, GP leaders warned that some practices have ‘hurriedly’ designed their networks, which might later lead to ‘contentious issues’.
Timetable for network contract DES introduction
This story was first published on our sister publication Pulse.