Editorial: Devil is in the detail for GPs in 2015

As we enter 2015, hope is the feeling GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul appears to be aiming to inspire in our exclusive interview on page 16.

It's a very 2008 Barack Obama note to strike, evoking images of Shepard Fairey's iconic poster, with its stylised stencil portrait of Obama in red, beige and shades of blue.

Obama might not, however, be one's first choice of political inspiration for 2015, given recent US election results and problems passing legislation, but here in the UK, there are signs the importance of primary care has finally been recognised by a coalition government that is slowly fracturing before the May general election.

In his interview with GP, Dr Nagpaul reflects on 2014 and reiterates that the fundamental question of chronic underfunding needs to be addressed.

But is his message - that GPs, and the GPC on their behalf, have begun to win the argument with the politicians that investment in general practice is the only way to avert crisis in the whole health service - grounded in reality?

The government's announcement of a billion-pound investment in primary care at the end of last year would seem to be cause for plastering posters bearing the word 'Hope' to surgery walls everywhere, but GPs will need more convincing about the devil in the detail, which we have yet to see, before the chants of 'Yes, we can' should begin.

Alternative uses for the cash, from funding co-location of GP services with post offices to funding the shift of specialist care services out of hospitals, are already being mooted.

The good news is, the government does seem to have more money available than at any other time since the coalition's birth in 2010.

GP raises a glass to entering 2015 with a shot of hope, but warns that until the detail of any extra funding is known, the sobering prospect of a New Year hangover can't be discounted.

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