Primary Care Federations putting patients first

The primary care service, largely delivered by general practitioners (GPs) and their staff, is an enduring success of the NHS. It delivers nine out of ten patient contacts and provides accessible, high quality, personal care in familiar, local surroundings. Family doctors are highly trusted and achieve very high satisfaction ratings. Yet no public service can stand still and there is always room for improvement.

The NHS has improved dramatically over the last few years. Increased levels of funding have led to improved patient outcomes and reduced waiting times but as the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, said when launching Lord Darzi’s recent review of the NHS, we also know that despite these improvements we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the means of change - payment by results, practice based commissioning, patient choice – and have sometimes forgotten the ends – the things that really matter to staff and patients like safer, high quality care.

This paper sets out an approach to the development of primary care that will ensure its strengths are augmented, its services extended and it is fit to meet the new challenges ahead.

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