England General practitioner Practice manager

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Saving general practice - Conclusion

The problems outlined within this document provide a clear picture of the significant pressures currently undermining general practice. It has been widely acknowledged by Government and other bodies, whether explicitly or through documents such as the GPFV, that if these pressure points continue to escalate and worsen, general practice could risk serious system failure that could compromise patient safety. Underpinned by a decade of underinvestment, unmanageable workload, deteriorating and unfit for purpose premises, out of date IT systems, disorganised referral and prescribing systems, and a threat to the national GMS contract that protects high quality care for patients, these problems are threatening fundamental elements of primary care that if compromised, could create a negative knock on effect throughout the rest of the NHS.

And whilst these problems grow in severity, GPs are being forced to test their resilience beyond reasonable limits and confront issues from not just one, but multiple directions. This has led to a consideration by practices to either temporarily suspend new patient registration, or close their lists altogether due an increase in unsafe workload.

NHS England’s acceptance of the BMA’s 2015 Urgent Prescription for General Practice, led to many initiatives that have the potential to address some of the issues we highlighted at that time. However, there is much more that needs to be done and, as we stated in 2015, GPC nationally and LMCs locally stand ready to work with the Government and NHS England on the implementation of these actions put forward by GPC, which will go a significant way to rebuild the vital foundation primary care provides for the NHS. These issues cannot and must not be left unresolved if we are to save general practice and provide a service that is sustainable, safe and delivers the best possible care to patients.

 

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Saving general practice

 

Saving general practice

With an insufficient workforce, a funding plan that is no longer sustainable, a growth in population and a sea-change in the level of complex cases being presented, urgent steps need to be taken to save general practice.

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