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GPC calls for collaborative working in primary care

8 November 2013

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A vision for coordinated, integrated and community based model of general practice has been presented by the British Medical Association’s GP Committee (GPC). 

Developing General Practice: Providing Healthcare Solutions for the Future calls for a new approach to delivering care across general practice. 

General practice needs a more integrated and personalised model of patient care that is delivered by a team built around the GP practice, the GPC believe. 

This would involve working more collaboratively with diagnostic, specialist care, community health and social care teams.

And changes must be made to improving urgent and out-of-hours primary care services. This could include a clinician led first point of contact, telephone triage service and reforms to the tendering process for out-of-hours care, such as NHS 111.

Other suggestions include: 

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 – Improved accessibility and local accountability by looking at innovative ways of working such as practices collaborating to provide extended surgery opening times across a community or using the latest technologies, such as Skype, as an alternative to face to face consultations

 – And empowering patients as partners through measures such as strengthening the patient voice in local clinical commissioning groups and through the further development of practice-based patient participation groups

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GP committee said: “We need to look at new ways of working that can help GPs play a central role in delivering care that is more efficient and responsive to the needs of patients who increasingly need services that are more personalised and closer to home.   

“To make these ideas a reality general practice needs greater investment to enable an expansion of the GP workforce and to fund new and innovative ways of working.  We must end the uncertainty about future funding which is holding back GPs from meeting short term challenges and setting long term goals that could be a solution to alleviate some of the pressure on the NHS as a whole.

“Our plan comes at a crucial time for general practice which is under strain from spiralling levels of patient demand and falling resources.”

The full report is available to view on the BMA website.