Over the past six weeks or so, the college has been looking at ways of tracking the progress of the GP Forward View and making sure it is implemented effectively at both a national and local level.
We are already making progress with the appointment of a national team of GP Forward View ‘ambassadors’ across England. Together, they will drive forward our push for investment locally, help the college monitor progress and ensure that the voice of GPs is a strong one.
I’m pleased to say that we’ve received an excellent response, with far more applications than the posts available. The calibre of candidates – all practising GPs on the ‘frontline’ of patient care - has been very high and we’re hoping to have our new network established within a few weeks.
I also attended my first meeting of the new advisory group, set up by the NHS to help monitor the progress of the Forward View. These meetings will take place every quarter and the college will use them wisely, especially as our members want to know how quickly the promised funding can be implemented.
I urged NHS England to pull out all the stops to get the promised funding and support in place so that practices and patients start reaping the benefits this year.
RCGP’s main priority
Over the coming months, I will be meeting with a number of MPs to explain just how important the GP Forward View is for the future of general practice and how they can push for it to be delivered. Making sure that the GP Forward View does not fall short of its promise to stabilise and transform general practice for the better is now the college’s main priority.
Of course, the RCGP is a UK-wide college and we will continue to put pressure on politicians and policy makers in the devolved nations through our Put patients first: Back general practice campaign.
We want to see equivalents of the GP Forward View delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to guarantee a secure and sustainable future for UK general practice. In the run-up to the recent elections in the home nations, the college launched a series of promotional videos with the message ‘When general practice thrives, the NHS survives’, which you can view through the campaign website.
I am optimistic that through the work we are doing now, we can achieve this.
- Dr Baker is chair of the RCGP