RCGP in talks about UK-wide NHS plan

RCGP wants all four UK governments to adopt 10 core values for the NHS.

RCGP: 'General practice needs investment when other services face cuts.'
RCGP: 'General practice needs investment when other services face cuts.'

RCGP leaders will press the four UK governments to adopt a shared vision for the NHS at meetings over the next year.

College chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada and her counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland called on ministers from all four countries to take on a set of 10 'core values'.

They called for a focus on 'improving the way services are delivered on the ground', rather than structural reforms. The RCGP warned that general practice is 'mission critical' to the NHS, and needs investment when other services face cuts.

A letter to ministers from the RCGP last month said: 'We call on ministers in each of the constituent nations of the UK to work with the RCGP and other stakeholders to develop a plan to make this vision a reality.

'A vision is needed that builds on the strengths of general practice. There is a wealth of evidence to show that good general practice services, based on clinical generalism, help deliver safer, more patient-centred care, leading to improved health and lower mortality at lower overall cost to the nation's budget.'

The letter calls for commitments to developing and investing in general practice, including more care in the community, increasing GP numbers and extending training, and integrating health and social care.

A DH spokeswoman said the Health Act was working towards many of the RCGP's points. A Welsh government spokesman acknowledged GPs' key role and hit out at England's reforms. A Scottish government spokesman said the RCGP's points were 'ones we recognise and are taking action on'.

10 CORE NHS VALUES

  • Greater involvement of GPs in shaping NHS care.
  • UK-wide agreement on free NHS services.
  • Integration of health and social care.
  • Reducing bureaucracy, increasing efficiency.
  • Empowering patients.
  • Respecting patients' beliefs, valuing diversity.
  • Involving patients in shaping NHS services.
  • Encourage innovation.
  • Public health promotion.
  • Cut inequalities.

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