GP leaders unveil vision for future of general practice

GP leaders in Northern Ireland have published a 10-year strategy paper setting out how general practice can evolve but keep its core values intact.

Dr Dunn said the strategy will empower practices by giving a vision of what general practice is going to be like
Dr Dunn said the strategy will empower practices by giving a vision of what general practice is going to be like

The joint RCGP and GPC document sets out a list of general practice 'core values', assesses the profession's strengths and weaknesses and evaluates threats.

The list of core values highlights a desire to embrace change while maintaining traditional features of general practice. Elements such as providing continuity of care and acting as a gatekeeper to an NHS free at the point of delivery feature alongside more modern concepts such as embracing federation of practices and a role in commissioning.

The key threats identified include competition and bureaucracy.

GPC Northern Ireland hopes the Future of general practice in Northern Ireland document, published on Wednesday, will put GPs in the driving seat as NHS reform takes place over the next decade.

GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn told Healthcare Republic: ‘We were tired of saying 'no' to things.

‘Most initiatives to do with changing general practice come from government, this is trying to empower practices by giving a vision of what general practice is going to be like.'

An action plan set out in the document lists key areas of work the GPC in Northern Ireland will focus on in the coming years.

It intends to draw up a ‘model practice framework' setting out ‘critical success factors' for GP practices, that will fit with the RCGP's plans for practice accreditation.

‘Federation toolkits' to help practices set up ways of working together will also be produced, and more GPs will be trained to be effective leaders.

Communication with patients will be expanded, the document adds, and further work carried out on developing GPs' role in commissioning.

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