The GP Collaborative Board (GPCB) was developed by general practice in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to meet the needs of our changing, more integrated health and care system. As organisations begin to work more closely together in an Integrated Care System, boundaries need to be broken down between organisations and new ways of working developed as providers come together to create more efficient and patient orientated pathways. A key enabler of this is general practice being able to come together as one body to participate in peer-to-peer conversations with the other large-scale providers, and where the general practice voice is able to influence collaborative decision making.
The GPCB brings together all general practices within BNSSG supported by One Care (the GP federation) and Avon LMC. The structure and governance arrangements of the GPCB ensure that the voice of primary care remains a ‘golden thread’ through system wide conversations (see above diagram).
Working with the system
The GPCB will increasingly be the place to go for system level decision making and engagement. It will support representatives at ICS level and new programmes of work which require general practice expertise in their development. The GPCB wholeheartedly supports the creation of six Localities around which Integrated Care Partnerships will form, whilst recognising that General Practice will need to be able to work at practice, PCN, Local Authority and System scales as well as at Locality level. The GPCB will be the vehicle whereby primary care becomes joint owner of the ICS with other health and care system partners.
The GPCB will act as an equal partner within the Healthier Together health and care system.
The GPCB gets its legitimacy from its practices. These practices cover every patient within BNSSG and deliver services worth over £150m each year. The GPCB also encompasses PCNs, localities and emerging ICPs, bringing all general practice’s distributed provider leaders together. The GPCB has representation on the One Care (BNSSG) CIC board providing connection and collaboration. One Care will provide the executive delivery capability of the GPCB.
The GPCB will support those involved in developing Integrated Care Partnerships and will be an important link with the Integrated Care System and other system work.
The GPCB provides an overall framework that supports practices to come together at different scales to meet the needs of the changing system.
In February 2020, practices asked One Care C.I.C, the BNSSG GP Federation, and Avon LMC to work with them to develop and implement an ethical decision-making process and good governance framework for general practice. This work had been put on hold due to Covid-19, but restarted in late summer 2020.
It was recognised that there was an immediate need for an interim solution to be put in place to ensure that general practice is not a limiting factor in cross organisational and integrated working across BNSSG.
The decision was therefore made stand up a Shadow GP Collaborative Board from September 2020. The first meeting of the shadow board took place on 3 September 2020. The shadow Board membership was made up of PCN Clinical Directors, locality leads and members of the One Care and Avon LMC boards. Since September, the Shadow GP Collaborative Board has been meeting on a monthly basis. The first meeting of the substantive GP Collaborative Board took place on 28 April 2021.