Has Federating delivered management benefits?

In September 2013 we at Everything CQC undertook a Survey to ascertain the hopes, aspirations, and successes of GP Federations.
The Questions we asked were:

1. What were/are your expectations AT THE START of Federating?

2. How long has the Federation been established

3. What savings have been achieved so far?

4. What progress have you made so far?

  • Standardised all policies/protocols
  • Standardised compliance processes
  • Shared training
  • Exchanged Staff between practices
    Make CQC compliance easy


Survey Results - Federating GP Practices

The results of our survey are now in, and anyone expecting that Federating will change their lives will walk away disappointed.

Our survey only concentrated on management aspects and not clinical achievements. What we wanted to discover is whether Practice Management has reaped any benefits, or whether their expectations were met, and most importantly, did they achieve any savings.

The answer is a resounding NO to everything.

Practices placed a very high expectation of achieving standardisation of policies and protocols; compliance processes; and help with CQC. When asked how important these were to them, practices rated their aspirations of ‘important to crucial’ at 80%. In reality of the practices that have federated, not a single one is anywhere near achieving this, with most not having done anything and a small minority “On the way”.

The average voting for not having achieved anything substantial was nearer 90% to 100%, leaving a paltry 10% who have made some negligible progress.

The best result by far was shared training, where over 60% have just started on the path, but none feeling they are “on the way” or having achieved any results.

The most shocking statistic is that not a single participant had seen any measurable financial benefit.

No one had saved more than £1,000 per year. This result may be skewed as there was no option to record ZERO savings.

As far as practice efficiency and finance are concerned, the inescapable conclusion is that Federating has failed to deliver on its promise, at least for these participants. The effort has simply not been worth it for practice managers or the bank balance.

Editor’s Analysis

Practices federate with two main goals, clinical collaboration and practice efficiencies. If clinical benefits have been achieved, that is great for patient care. However, a golden opportunity is being missed to make real management and cultural change, which actually directly translates into bottom line profits.

“Federationalists” take note.

If your experience is different, we would like to hear some positive news.




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