Inquiry into Patient Centred Care in the 21st Century

In June the Royal College of General Practitioners commissioned an independent panel to lead an inquiry into patient centred care in the 21st century - with the aim of identifying cost effective solutions to the medical, social and financial challenges posed by rising levels of multimorbidity. 

The inquiry, which was chaired by former NHS Confederation Chief Executive Mike Farrar, concludes that clinicians must work with patients in a very different way, providing personalised care and empowering patients to play an active role in managing their health. The report also calls for a seismic shift in the way that general practice is delivered, so that practices come together as federations or networks and work with a range of other services to deliver coordinated and proactive care in the community.

To support these changes, the inquiry calls on the Government, NHS England and other stakeholders to work with patients and clinicians to:

  • move away from tick box clinical guidelines and performance indicators to an approach that recognises the need for care to be tailored to patients with multiple conditions and rewards professionals for respecting patients’ preferences
  • increase resources for primary and community based care and create a primary care ‘transformation fund’ to enable changes in the way care is delivered to happen at pace and scale
  • introduce flexible commissioning and funding arrangements that help to break down barriers between providers (in particular GPs and hospital-based physicians) and promote collaborative working
  • implement NHS England's 'new deal for general practice', building on its key strengths including an easily accessible, local point of access; comprehensive services from a generalist clinician; continuity of care; and the registered patient list.

The inquiry’s report draws on over 80 written evidence submissions and discussions with more than 50 individuals from a broad range of health, care and patient organisations. The members of the Inquiry panel were:

  • Mike Farrar, former Chief Executive of NHS Confederation (Chair)
  • Dr Patricia Wilkie, Honorary President and Chair, National Association for Patient Participation
  • Dr Rachel Carrell, Managing Director, LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor
  • Dr Anita Donley, Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians
  • Hilary Garratt, Director of Nursing for Nurse Commissioning and Health Improvement, NHS England
  • Professor Chris Salisbury, Professor in Primary Health Care, University of Bristol
  • Rob Webster, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
  • Dr Tim Wilson, Health Industries Consulting Lead Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Professor Mayur Lakhani, Chair of West Leicestershire CCG, RCGP Council member and former RCGP Chair
  • Dr Andy Spooner, Commissioning Lead and Executive GP on South Cheshire CCG's governing body, RCGP Council Member, and
  • Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, Honorary Treasurer, RCGP.

If you would like to discuss the report and its findings please contact Katherine Calder, RCGP Policy and Research Officer at

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