BMA launches consultation on public's priorities for general practice

The BMA has launched a consultation to ask the public, patient groups, health charities and the medical profession about their priorities for general practice.

Dr Buckman: developing a long-term strategy for general practice
Dr Buckman: developing a long-term strategy for general practice

The BMA hopes Striking a balance: what matters most in general practice will encourage debate on what the long-term strategy for general practice should be.

It covers four key areas, including access to GPs, out-of-hours care provision, continuity of care, and the ‘evolving practice team' - which includes issues such as the suitability of the partnership model and the preferred practice size.

The consultation document said: 'While public expectations of health care are increasing, the money available to pay for health services and the rest of the public sector is limited.

'Policy makers, the public and GPs will therefore be forced to choose which aspects of care are most important to them.'

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘There are 300 million consultations in general practice in the UK every year. For most people it's their only contact with the health service and we want it to work well for them.

‘But with so many challenges ahead we need to develop a long-term strategy for general practice now, because there are real tensions between what people say they want the service to provide and what it can provide.'

He added: ‘There is a pressing need to have an honest debate about what the focus for general practice should be. I would encourage the public to respond to our consultation because, that way, we can ensure general practice evolves in line with patient and public priorities.'

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