National Association for Patient Participation

Building the new deal for general practice

Our Blueprint for building the new deal for general practice in England sets out a comprehensive plan for the future of general practice.

This document was produced by the College and shared with the Government immediately following the outcome of the 2015 General Election. It has been discussed with both the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, who have responded positively. Mr Stevens quoted from the Blueprint publicly at the NHS Confederation conference on 3rd of June, saying that the RCGP has made a “compelling case” for increasing investment in general practice.

Ensuring that everyone can rely on the care provided by their local GP practice is fundamental to maintaining a safe, effective and compassionate NHS. In recent years, concerns have been growing that overstretched GP surgeries are struggling to cope with rising demand for care – and we know the public are worried about the future of their local services.

General practice delivers 90% of patient care in the NHS, but saw it’s share of the NHS budget fall to just 8.4% last year – a record low. The RCGP has estimated that there is a current shortfall of 3,300 GPs in England and that 8,000 GPs will be needed by 2020 to close this gap.

With the right support, we can secure a more positive future for general practice. We know that when GPs and their teams are given the resources, time and space to do their jobs properly, we have a strong record of providing exceptional patient care that serves as the cornerstone of our NHS.

Please help us spread the word about this plan by writing to your MP if you live in England. If you live in Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland, you can also use this tool to write to your local politician about the campaign.

The Blueprint sets out five overarching actions that must be taken by the new Government to strengthen general practice for the future:

1. Invest 11% of the NHS budget in general practice

We’re calling on politicians to:

  • Establish an emergency stabilisation fund for practices under the most pressure
  • Set a clear target of increasing spending on general practice to 11% of the NHS budget
  • Ensure that new funding for the NHS is channelled progressively towards primary care
  • Set up a new five year transformation fund that GPs can access to promote the development of new models of care

2. Grow the GP workforce by 8,000

We’re calling on politicians to:

  • Set a clear target for increasing the number of GPs in England by 8,000 by 2020
  • Fund and support the 10-point GP workforce action plan
  • Increase resources for the GP National Office (NRO) so that it can encourage more young doctors to choose general practice
  • Recruit an extra 500 practice nurses by the end of 2015 and take steps to enhance their training to take pressure off GPs

3. Give GPs time to focus on patient care

We’re calling on politicians to:

  • Conduct a review into how the red tape and unnecessary workload currently faced by GPs can be reduced
  • Review the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections and regulatory processes to eliminate unnecessary burdens for general practice
  • Test every new NHS initiative against how it will impact on GPs time and workload capacity
  • Take a cautious approach to extending access to GP services at evenings and weekends

4. Allow GPs time to innovate

We’re calling on politicians to:

  • Empower GPs and give them practical tools to deliver change for patients by introducing a supportive framework for them to develop new models of care.
  • Provide practices with funding to pilot the employment of pharmacists within GP teams and support the initiative on a national scale
  • Keep the independent contractor status for GPs which enables GPs to act as advocates for their patients

5. Improve GP premises

We’re calling on politicians to:

  • Affirm their commitment to invest £1bn investment in GP premises as announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement
  • Provide more care in the community and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions by investing in GP surgeries and diagnostic equipment
  • Support practices to offer online services such as online booking systems and access to records by investing in new and existing IT support
  • Ensure local governments release Section 106 monies to allow the construction of GP premises in communities

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