Any changes to the way we work must be made in patients' best interest, says RCGP

Publication date: 17 March 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, has responded to comments made by David Mowat MP on Government plans to turn 7,500 GP surgeries into 1,500 "superhubs".

She said: “Our population is growing and changing, with our patients living longer and increasingly with multiple, long term conditions, so we certainly need to explore and adopt different ways of working in order to best deal with these changes - but the magnitude and pace of the change being floated here seems extreme.
“The College supports the use of new models of care, including GP surgeries working together in federations or merging, similar to what is being described here, where they can pool resources and share expertise in the best interests of patient care. But we also recognise that these new ways of working won’t work everywhere, or for everyone. It's important that GP practices have the autonomy to choose the way in which they work and the services they provide, to best meet the needs of their local population as these GPs are the people best placed to make that decision.
“We also need to see published the long term evaluation of innovatIve schemes where general practice and wider primary care are already working at scale, so that we can properly gauge the impact it is having on patient care, as well as the wider NHS, before we encourage widespread and wholesale change.
"We'd also like our patients to be reassured that GPs are working in their best interests, and any changes to the way we work will only be made with improving patient care at a time when the health service is under great pressure, in mind."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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