Identifying where hospital and community trusts are managing general practices in England: a service mapping study

Charlotte Davies (Lead Author), Catherine L. Saunders, Fifi Olumogba, Manbinder Sidhu, Jon Sussex

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Background Organisations providing secondary care in the NHS in England have historically not also provided primary health care, but this is changing. Data on where this kind of ‘vertical integration’ is happening is lacking, making it difficult to evaluate its impact.

Aim To compile a comprehensive list of instances of secondary care trusts running general practices in England, to enable evaluation of the impact of such arrangements.

Design and setting Review, collation, synthesis and analysis of published information describing secondary and primary care provision in the NHS in England in March 2021.

Method Desk-based collection, including hand-searching, of secondary care organisations’ statutory annual reports. Triangulation via comparison with national data on general practices, the general practice workforce and practice contracts.

Results It was possible to construct a database of all instances of trusts running general practices in England as at end-March 2021. We have identified 26 trusts running a total of 85 general practices, operating across a total of 116 practice sites. These practices have on average fewer patients and fewer GP full-time equivalents than other general practices, and before becoming vertically integrated were performing less well in the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

Conclusion We recommend that national statistics recording the details of general practices contracting with the NHS should include whether each practice is owned by another organisation and, whether that is an NHS trust, another public body or a private organisation. Such data are required to enable evaluation of the impacts of this kind of vertical integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Early online date16 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2024

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