Dr Imran Rafi, medical director of the college’s Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) said GPs needed to know what evidence was available.
Dr Rafi was speaking to GP Daily as the centre planned to launch work on 12 new clinical priority areas.
‘GPs involved in commissioning are going to have to take stock of the evidence. They will need to look at what is being done and how to access the evidence base,’ said Dr Rafi.
‘The role for CIRC is to find the experts, and provide the research and innovation evidence that commissioners need as guidance for change in clinical service pathways.’
Dr Rafi said it was important for CIRC to be forward-looking and engage with the membership and that an important part of its role was to promote evidence-based medicine.
He also revealed that CIRC would be expanding its work on clinical priority areas, which concentrate on areas outside the usual focus of large-scale research.
‘There has been a gradual evolution in the development of the clinical priorities programme,’ he said. ‘We are also going to extend the time that one of the clinical priority areas runs for, from three to five years.’
The centre will be launching 12 new areas for work beginning in 2012 and is calling for GPs to propose new clinical priorities.
Current priorities include headache, older people’s health, child health, learning disabilities, allergy, domestic violence and nutrition for health and social inclusion.
Proposals for new areas will be debated and voted on by the CIRC board in December and then submitted for approval by the college council.
Dr Rafi said that there were many ways GPs could become involved. ‘CIRC receives lots of requests from NICE to provide advice on guidance documents and respond to consultations and that is something where the generalist as well as the GPs with a specialist interest could really contribute,’ he said.