DoH advisor: Practices have 'nothing to fear' from private sector

GPs have 'nothing to fear' from partnership with the private sector, says the former chairman of the RGCP.

Professor Mayur Lakhani
Professor Mayur Lakhani

Speaking at a King's Fund debate yesterday, Professor Mayur Lakhani, a contributor to the Darzi review, said that GPs needed a new strategy ‘to build trust and inject a massive dose of confidence in general practice'.

‘The status quo is not sustainable,' he said. ‘A strategy that relies on a defence of general practice, on how good we are, is not enough.'

He called on GPs to develop federated practice models to improve access to specialists and technology.

‘I support independent contractor status, but we need to evolve it, perhaps in partnership with the commercial sector,' he said. ‘I don't think there's anything to fear there.'

Professor Lakhani also proposed that organisations running practices should be accredited, and that the MRCGP qualification should be compulsory.

But he stressed that GPs should remain a key part of the health service. ‘Anyone who thinks otherwise only has to look at what happened to out-of-hours care when GPs weren't involved,' he said.

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