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14-06-2010 | Article

GPC announces fifty-point plan for future of general practice


BMA Fit for the Future webpage

The British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee (GPC) has announced a fifty-point plan for the future development of general practice.

The report, Fit for the Future - the evolution of general practice, is the first in a series communicating the GPC's current thinking on how general practice should continue to evolve.

GPC Chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said some recommendations outline areas for further improvement, recognising that recent changes in general practice have benefited patients.

But "others have arisen out of concerns about the current direction of travel of primary care, particularly… the inappropriate involvement of big business", he added.

Key policy recommendations include:

• Piloting policy changes aimed at improving public health and addressing health inequalities;

• Standardising NHS general practice across the UK, eg, free prescriptions for all and maintaining a UK-wide Quality Outcomes Framework;

• Managing the GP workforce nationally;

• Replacing private finance initiatives with sustainable practice developments.

The report comes hot on the heels of the Royal College of General Practitioners' election manifesto, as reported on univadis GP News. Dr Buckman indicated that the GPC's plan also sends important messages to the next government, saying he believes the recommendations are "realistic" in an uncertain financial climate and will deliver the most cost-effective and patient-focused primary care in the community.

Dr Buckman also highlighted three key recommendations on which GPs can act:

• Increasing patient involvement in planning and arranging services by linking Patient Participation Groups;

• Increasing involvement of GPs in out-of-hours services;

• Greater recognition and involvement of salaried GPs.

He commented: "We need to recognise that GPs are part of the solution, not the problem - we need politicians and the health service to feel that GPs are the people they should turn to, to provide the best care for patients in the community."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010