Medico-politically this should be a quiet time of the year. We are approaching a General Election and although the political parties are setting out their policies ahead of their manifestos, no one wants to upset the NHS applecart especially in the light of the Five Year Forward View. Cornwall, however, is quietly undergoing a small medical revolution. The major news of course is that a GP owned company has won the GP OOH contract. How did we get here ? Let’s recap the events that have brought us to this point.
A year ago the LMC led a series of countywide events entitled ‘The Future of General Practice’. The overwhelming majority of attendees expressed support for the development of a Cornwall GP provider company with the intent to protect and develop Cornish General Practice and to bid for the GP OOH service. Very rapidly Kernow Health CIC was born and a further company Cornwall Health has evolved from Kernow Health and Devon Doc. It is this company that will run our OOH service.
The work with Devon Doc and the formation of Cornwall Health is the culmination of the decisions taken at those Future of General Practice meetings. I think this fact highlights a number of issues. Firstly, when GPs act together they can effect large and seismic change in the healthcare environment. Secondly the future is in our hands. It is my strong belief that standing still will create a vacuum that others will fill. We must continue to innovate and make bold decisions about our futures. However, this aspect of our future will require continued hard work and commitment. I am hoping that many of you will make a small commitment to working in our new OOH service. I will be working some shifts to support Cornwall Health but also so I can meet colleagues and support my registrar OOH. We can and should use this service to develop other services to support and evolve Cornish General Practice. These are challenging but interesting times. It is up to us to describe what our future looks like in Cornwall but for the moment I think you can all reflect and be proud of what General Practice in Cornwall has achieved over the past year