Local Communities invited to assist NHS England in reshaping general practice

13 August 2013

Local Communities invited to assist NHS England in reshaping general practice

In order to determine the most effective and prosaic manner in which general practice for the future within the NHS can be improved and developed, NHS England has announced that it will be engaging closely with local clinicians, communities and relevant stakeholders. This is in order to facilitate the forging of a stronger relationship between general practice and hospital services, so that a more predominant role is played by general practice so that hospital services are better integrated: in order to deliver better health outcomes, more personalised care, excellent patient experience and the most efficient possible use of NHS resources.

In light of recent changes to the stewardship of healthcare in the UK by NHS England, wider primary care services as well as general practice require reformation and greater scrutiny regarding to improvements that must be made in light of heightened media attention on the failings by NHS Trusts and individual hospitals. This requirement has arisen due to increasing pressures, linked to an ageing population, increasing numbers of people with multiple long term conditions, declining patient satisfaction with access to services, and problems with recruitment and retention in some areas. General practice and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are increasingly looking at how they can transform the way they provide services so that they can better meet these challenges and NHS England is looking to assimilate their views to encourage improvement.

NHS England has mapped out a 10 year strategy to overhaul the NHS, and will act as a major step in ensuring that quality healthcare and regard for patients are never placed in abeyance and disregarded. This hopes to integrate reviews of the current primary care system, to engage with key partners and to develop long term, effective solutions, a corollary of which is by listening to and engaging with key partners.

The objective of NHS England is to encourage debate in local communities, among GP practices, CCGs, area teams, health and wellbeing boards and other community partners, on the best ways to develop general practice services on a wider level. This interaction is by way of an open public consultation and while stakeholder groups such as colleges and CCGs will air their concerns, suggestions and recommendations, NHS England is also inviting comments outside these groups about how it can best support local changes. To this end it is encouraging responses and suggestions from individuals outside the groups highlighted above, to find out what you can do, please click here

Although there are existing strengths throughout general practice, such as its centralist role in managing long term conditions, it is vital that the reform of primary care service is in itself undertaken with the greatest of care by NHS England and that this approach is fostered in their overall strategy in dealing with primary dental, pharmacy and eye care services which are all planned to be reviewed at a subsequent stage.

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