Date Published: 2 April 2010

BMA publishes fifty point plan for general practice

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

The (UK) British Medical Association (BMA)'s GPs Committee (GPC) has published a 50-point plan for the future of general practice in the UK.

Fit for the Future – the evolution of general practice makes recommendations for improvements in a number of areas including: Out-of-hours care, the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), workforce, and Information Technology.

General practice is recognised throughout the world as being one of the most cost-effective, high-quality means of delivering patient care. However, the GPC has concerns about the current direction of travel in primary care, including the commercialisation of general practice in England and the divergence in key health policies between the four nations. Fit for the future represents the GPC’s current thinking on how general practice should evolve.

Commenting on the launch of the document, Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the GPC Committee, said:

General practice has undergone huge changes in recent years and it continues to evolve. Some of these changes have been beneficial: the increasing range of services provided by GPs, for example, has been good for patients. Other changes, such as the growing role of big business in primary care, concern us. We know some aspects of general practice could be improved but we want this to be in a way that benefits patients, doesn’t fragment the NHS and doesn’t demoralise the workforce.

Recommendations in the BMA report include:

  • Increase the role of general practice in promoting public health by making it a requirement to consider, through piloting, how policy changes would address health inequalities.
  • Increase patient involvement in the planning and arranging of services by linking Patient Participation Groups.
  • Improve management, at a national level, of the GP workforce, in order to avoid shortages of GPs in areas which find it difficult to recruit.
  • Replace PFI projects with a new scheme to support sustainable practice developments.
  • Increase involvement of GPs in the commissioning of out-of-hours services.
  • All contract holders (e.g. GP partners or private companies) should have day-to-day involvement in the running of their surgery to ensure there is a firm commitment to local health services.


Fit for the future is the first in a series of documents from the GPC which will consider the evolution of general practice in the UK.

 

Source: British Medical Association..

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