May 23, 2022

Speculation over the “nationality of common practice” has recently begun after a letter was leaked to Times Health Secretary Sajid Javed is planning an “independent review of the future of primary care” to see how “manpower, business models and how GPs work with hospitals in other parts of the NHS,” he said. ”

GPs are not satisfied, nor are we opposed to change, and something needs to be done. But this is not a model of common practice that requires a revision, and suggestions for disrupting, or even destroying, a system that has served patients and the NHS well for many generations. It would be a catastrophic step, rather than secure a sustainable future. Profession and the people we care about.

The real problems that need to be addressed are the historically low investment in GP services and poor manpower planning. What needs radical thinking is how the government can deliver on its 2019 manifesto promise of an additional 6,000 GPs and 26,000 additional practice staff by 2024, so that GPs and our teams can provide our patients with this and that Need and continue the deserving care. Future.

General practice is the basis of the NHS. It provides most NHS care, close to home where patients want it and where it is most expensive. In turn, it reduces the pressure on healthcare elsewhere.


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And this is the business model under which the NHS General Practice operates. By acting as an effective partner in contracting business with the NHS, GP Practices is able to tailor its services to its local population, so that patients have access to a personalized service that best meets their health needs. Fulfills An exercise in rural Devon, for example, as I used to do, would offer a variety of services to Moss Side in Manchester, where I also practiced, and again in East London where I now practice.

This allows GP teams to innovate to provide appropriate and optimal care to their local populations. As well as the care and services it provides for patients, it’s a good value for money for the NHS and taxpayers, and a recent independent review of the GP Partnership model found it viable.

As Lord Stevens, the former chief executive of the NHS, notes: “The power of British general practice is its personal response to a list of dedicated patients.”

When people talk about their doctor, they always talk about their GP. In many cases this is the doctor who takes them to see their children, or who takes care of their aging parents. Relationship-based care is central to what we do and provides the best outcomes for patients. A recent study published in the British Journal of General Practice confirms the importance of continuing care for dementia patients.

That is why GPs are given permanent status among the most trusted professionals in the society. And why do patients report high levels of satisfaction with continuous service even when it is under extreme pressure? And that’s possible, because GPs have the freedom to make decisions in the best interests of patients and to build and maintain relationships with them over time that are cost effective for the NHS.

But the service is struggling. It was preceded by an epidemic and the crisis has exacerbated it. Between September 2015 and August 2021, the number of qualified manpower decreased by about 6% while the number of patients increased steadily, ie the GP ratio of patients increased by more than 10%. GPs and our teams are consistently providing more patient counseling than ever before. In view of more than one large-scale vaccination campaign, an unprecedented 367 million consultations were conducted in general practice in England in 2021.

While we would welcome an NHS that is less fragmented and could operate more efficiently as a whole, suggestions that seemingly seek to give hospitals more freedom, and less common practice, do not represent a coherent policy. Do We want to see ways in which the NHS may be sustainable for the future, but any change or ‘correction’ must be in the best interests of our patients, general practice and the wider NHS.

These dynamic changes also show some ignorance of how the NHS works. This detail is less of a concern to me – it is the policy makers’ engagement with hospitals that is of concern. When politicians talk about NHS pressure, they always talk about the defeat of hospitals. But General Practice is defeated, and if General Practice breaks down, the rest of the NHS will follow suit.

In 2013, a commission headed by Baroness Finlay found that GPs were so important to the NHS that “if they do not currently exist, they will have to be invented.”

I couldn’t agree more. So let’s stop intervening and try to fix what’s not broken – and instead focus on your hardworking GPs getting the help they need to take the best care of all their patients.

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