Editorial: The NHS needs more GPs with longer training

'The stakes are too high not to get this right,' said RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada when she launched its consultation for a vision for general practice in 2022.

Writing for GP's Inside Commissioning blog, management consultant and former adviser to Tony Blair Paul Corrigan criticises former health secretary Andrew Lansley for failing to develop a narrative about the reforms of the past 29 months.

GP has urged Mr Lansley's successor Jeremy Hunt to listen to GPs (GP, 12 September) and, this week, we'd suggest the RCGP's Better Care for Patients: defining the role of general practice in 2022 - a call for action as required reading.

Its release could not be more timely.

It explains the future challenges the NHS faces, which all GPs will be acutely aware of: the increased demand of more people living longer, often with multiple conditions; financial constraints requiring ways to reduce costs yet increase quality; improving integration and shifting care out of hospital and into the community; potential service fragmentation as a result of competition and the use of multiple providers.

The consultation points to strong international evidence that effective primary care contains costs and is linked to reduced health inequalities and better disease prevention.

It argues the case for more GPs who have been trained for longer, spending more time with their patients and working in new ways. It suggests the RCGP's bid to extend training from three to four years offers a blueprint of how the GPs of tomorrow need to be best prepared – and this requires funding.

GP couldn't have developed a narrative and argued its case better. Mr Hunt, GPs are the answer to many of your problems. We suggest you back the RCGP's vision and show the waiting world you mean business.

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