GPs' hopes for the New Year

As we head into 2013, GP magazine asked GPs about their hopes for the year ahead.

GPs look ahead to the possibilities for 2013 (Photograph: iStock)

Dr Michael Dixon

NHS Alliance chairman and Devon GP

‘My wish would be to see GPs once again positive and happy with their day job, but also keen and motivated to make commissioning work. I think this has great potential and at the moment we are hemmed in with the amount going on, from revalidation to QOF, and it would be lovely if general practice could have the head room, the time and the people to make the difference I think we uniquely can in this country to the health of the local population.’

Dr Louise Warburton

Shropshire GPSI in rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine and Primary Care Rheumatology Society president

‘GPs are faced with the dissolution of PCTs and the advent of clinical commissioning group (CCG) power. This is a destabilising time, with many PCT employees moving on and primary care losing its working network contacts within PCTs.  The struggle will be to maintain effective commissioning against this background of change.

'I think priorities for GPs in managing musculoskeletal problems will be around osteoarthritis – it is threatening to bankrupt the country in terms of the amount of joint replacement surgery going on.

'I think GPs need to intervene earlier for patients with osteoarthritis and encourage weight loss and more exercise in line with the NICE guidelines for osteoarthritis. Some of the changes involving health and wellbeing boards should facilitate this. We could hopefully reduce the number of joint replacements required.’

Dr Sam Barrell

Devon GP and chief clinical officer, South Devon and Torbay CCG

‘My New Year’s wish would be that we get a really decent primary care development strategy that supports primary care properly, so we can think about how we can manage the shift of care into the community and give the right support to the community and primary care teams to deliver better patient care.’

Professor Amanda Howe

RCGP honorary secretary

‘As my father would have said: "Hope for the best, expect the worst and take what comes." It will be a hugely challenging year, particularly in England. We will have to try to make the best of the changes with commissioning coming in and changes in structure, and to support our colleagues who are trying to innovate in service development across all four countries.

‘We need to make the very best of the workforce, including those working as salaried and sessional GPs. We want to extend training and the capacity of the workforce.

‘We need to work as a community to make the best of our capability to deliver. Supporting each other is the really important thing to do. Keep caring for your patients, because that’s what keeps us going, really.’

Dr Una Duffy

Luton GP and chairwoman, Bedfordshire LMC

‘My hope is that 2013 is the year when the BMA and the RCGP organise a massive joint campaign to celebrate the value of modern general practice and that the message is received and understood by patients and politicians. I wish all GPs survival in the year of potential destruction looming ahead.’

Professor Clare Gerada

London GP and RCGP chairwoman

‘Next year is going to be tough for GPs and the NHS. But GPs will – as they have done in the past – ride out the storm and do what is right for their patients. It is important, however, as our workload increases and our resources reduce, that we do not forget the fundamental requirement to be kind and compassionate to our patients and to ourselves, and that we do everything we can to reduce the suffering of those in our care. I wish my wonderful profession a happy and as stress-free as possible 2013.’

Dr Nigel Watson

New Forest GP, GPC member and chief executive, Wessex LMCs

‘I would really like people to understand and value British general practice. I mean the critics – I would like people to look holistically at general practice and value it. I believe there is superb care being delivered. The current environment and saturation means quality will go down. We need to value and nurture, not pressurise and destroy.’

  • This article appears in our special iPad-only Christmas issue of GP. To download iPad editions of GP, simply search for 'GP magazine' in the App Store or click here

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