GPWFED started as an informal group following dissolution of Wirral GP Commissiong Consortium in 2014. This was formed as practices valued coming together as providers to share issues of mutual concerns and interest.
One of the first actions was to seek the support of the newly structured Wirral CCG to reconsider decommissioning of services such as Tele ECG and Tele Dermatology. Whilst these efforts were continuing, the practices in partnership with Broomwell Health continued to deliver the service as a pilot. In January 2015, the federation practices expressed an interest to bid for the Prime Ministers Challenge Fund to deliver extended access services. This initiative received the support of 48 out of the then 56 practices in Wirral.
Whilst this application was unsuccessful, the practices agreed to start discussions towards creating a formal structure. During this period, the group had an interim leadership group and started to involve the patient representatives in regular discussions and sought their involvement in the development of the federation. The patient representatives met regularly and formed a group to discuss issues of public interest and liaise with the federation.
GPWFED was successful in being approved as a second wave exemplar site for Primary Care Home project sponsored by the National Association of Primary Care. GPWFED has highlighted the shortcomings of the Phlebotomy service and have been advocating a practice based system.
The ethos of GPWFED has consistently been to develop services around GP practices with shared objectives and deliver patient centered services. The group and its patients have advocated devolution of resources and collaborative work with pooling of resources where appropriate to deliver services to patients.
At the request of member practices the company was registered in February 2016. Following the adoption of Articles of Association and a formal constitution in early 2016, elections were held in June 2016 to constitute a Board.
Membership of GPWFED has been open to all Wirral practices and the group has always worked in a transparent and collaborative way with the CCG, LMC and other groups.