Infrastructure in general practice
The current state of general practice premises and digital infrastructure is inadequate. It is hampering the ability of GPs to deliver the best care to patients. The key issues practices are facing include:
- limited physical space
- inadequate capacity to host multidisciplinary teams or receive new trainees
- deficient IT infrastructure
- poor building energy efficiency.
Nearly 75% of general practice staff that requested funding to upgrade their premises in the last year were unsuccessful in obtaining it. The path to a brighter future for general practice requires upgraded, modern, and well-equipped infrastructure. Significant and bold Government investment is needed urgently to make that a reality.
We have produced the following report. It is part of our work to understand the current infrastructure challenges general practice is facing, and what we can do to support our GPs. In this report we explore how insufficient infrastructure is limiting the ability of GPs to deliver the care patients need.
Our key recommendations
- Invest in upgrading general practice premises. This can ensure sufficient space and good conditions for patient consultations to take place and house expanded practice teams. Furthermore, enable the development of more ‘community hubs’. This needs the co-location of a wider range primary care services alongside general practice.
- Expand training capacity in general practice to allow for expanded GP numbers above and beyond current Government targets. We also recommend training space for other healthcare professionals working in general practice teams. This should include both physical space and capacity of educators/supervisors.
- Invest in IT systems and organisational support to implement improvements to how practices operate. This will enhance patient experience, efficiency, and connectivity with other parts of the healthcare system.
- Provide a permissive framework and the appropriate resources for practices to retrofit and improve energy efficiency. This means they can cut down on their carbon footprint.