BMA report

Trust GPs to lead: learning from the response to COVID-19 within general practice in England

A set of principles addressing the need for change in general practice following the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Location: England
Audience: GPs
Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Topics: COVID 19

The response from GPs to COVID-19 is compelling evidence of what can be done when practices are afforded the trust, autonomy, flexibility and freedom to act as the leaders of the profession in their local communities, acting in the best interests of their patients.

This report sets out a range of principles and solutions that will enable GPs and practices to manage the ongoing demands of responding to COVID-19.

The report also looks at GPs being supported to continue delivering innovative patient-focused local services for both the short and long term.


What you will get from this report

  • Our vision for trusting GPs as leaders of the profession.
  • Our key principles for change.
  • Our evidence for trusting GPs.
  • Our detailed proposals and key asks for innovation.


Our key asks

  • Capitalise on the greater autonomy provided to general practice during the pandemic and incorporate the positive learning into new ways of working.
  • There must be a significant reduction in the level of regulation within the system. The burden of regulation has previously fallen on all practices rather than focusing on appropriate support for the very small number of practices when this is required.
  • There must be a significant reduction in the level of bureaucracy and duplication caused by information requests from Government departments, national regulators, commissioners, local providers of health services and many other organisations.
  • It is essential to increase the level of digital and technological support for practices including a rapid rollout of appropriate, safe, reliable, robust and secure digital technology and consultation software (including video where appropriate) for practices to use.
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  • Our evidence for the principles supporting greater trust in general practice
  • Key principles for change
  • Our proposals for change in general practice
  • Professional and systems regulation
  • Working with NHSE/I and CCGs
  • Next steps