GP services in England will be under scrutiny to discover whether there are barriers to providing good quality care, it has been revealed.
Monitor, the health sector regulator, will be examining the commissioning and provision of GP services.
The regulator has emphasised this is not a formal investigation or a review of individual practices, but forms part of a “primary duty” to protect the interests of patients.
Patients, GPs, commissioners and providers will be asked to provide evidence on the accessibility of services, the ability to develop the scope of services provided and barriers to implementing new models of primary care.
Dr David Bennett, Monitor chairman and chief executive said: “This call for evidence is an opportunity for Monitor to learn about any barriers preventing general practitioners from delivering what is best for patients.
“For many patients, GPs are the first port of call when they access NHS services and general practice has a significant impact on the wider heath sector.”
A statement from the NHS Alliance, a membership organisation which aims to improve the health service, said the review is an opportunity to learn what “good primary care really is”.
The spokesperson said: “It is not of benefit to the population if Monitor were to just focus on barriers to the replication of outmoded general practice models.
“We need to define where we have got to already and how we facilitate further this direction of travel.
Monitor will publish an update and set out any next steps in the autumn 2013.