The Royal College of GPs have noticed that the White Paper spells the start of the end of the small business model of GP practices. Prof Steve Field, the RCGP chairman, said there was
'clear evidence' that if consortia were not big enough, many would fail.' But he called for failing consortia to be offered support or merged with neighbouring groups, instead of allowing private firms to take over.
How long will it be before you'll see a Virgin GP clinic in your town? Remember, to be viable a consortium has to be large, a population of 100,000 is the minimum, the GPC is talking about much larger consortia. So if a large healthcare company like Virgin takes over a consortium they will effectively have the monopoly over primary care in your area. Although you will have the choice to register with a new GP, the size of the consortia will mean that your "choice" will be to use a GP practice many miles away - in the next town, or county.