An expanded team

Care in the future will be delivered by multidisciplinary practice teams comprising both clinical and non-clinical roles. Many GPs already work alongside nurses, pharmacists, first contact physiotherapists, paramedics, physician associates and social prescribing link workers. In 10 years' time this mix of roles will not only be the norm across the UK but will be enhanced by the addition of other roles such as occupational therapists, dietitians, podiatrists and dermatologists.

The expansion of practice teams will improve patient access and widen the range of services delivered in primary care settings. The expansion of practice teams will reduce GP workloads and enable them to focus their expert generalist skills where they are needed most – with complex cases, multimorbidity and managing undifferentiated illness. GPs will have a vital role to play at the heart of multidisciplinary teams – they will be leaders, expert advisers, teachers and mentors.

Relationship-based care is at the heart of general practice. As practice teams expand, Continuity of care will be re-engineered. This means that ‘organisational continuity’ – underpinned by shared digital care records – will be better but also that new forms 'relational continuity' will be developed, through micro-teams or named keyworkers.

Benefits of MDT working illustration

Next: The Wider System >

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