GPs rebuff calls for major changes to general practice in London

GP leaders have disputed calls in a report by a leading think tank for major changes to the organisation and delivery of primary care in London.

Dr Michelle Drage: King's Fund report should have focused more on positives
Dr Michelle Drage: King's Fund report should have focused more on positives

The King's Fund report, General practice in London: supporting improvements in quality, said GPs in the capital needed to work more closely with hospitals and community services, make better use of IT and data, and move more quickly towards operating in federations or networks.

The King's Fund said that although some practices in London performed well, others were 'not equipped' to face the future challenges of an ageing population and unprecedented financial pressures.

It said major changes to the organisation and delivery of primary care in London were needed to ensure all practices could meet those challenges.

In a response to the report, Londonwide LMCs argued that rather than calling for a radical redesign of general practice, GPs should ‘instead start working with the successful model we have’.

Londonwide LMCs said: ‘What general practice in London really needs, and what patients deserve, is growth in the recruitment of GPs and practice nurses, better staff training, incentives to work collaboratively together and with other services in the community, and essential improvements to existing premises.’

Although Londonwide LMCs welcomed many of the report's proposals, it pointed out that co-ordination of care and the idea of practices collaborating were not new to general practice in the capital.

Londonwide also criticised the King’s Fund report for comparing GPs in London to those in England and said it was often ‘grudging’ in its reporting of London successes.

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage said: ‘There are a number of positives in this report, but sadly most of these are obscured by the focus on the national average, as opposed to comparisons with other large cities that face some of the same diverse challenges as London.

‘The report is too quick to jump to yet another system redesign solution, rather than building the positives and successes of the existing model, and how with the right support, improvements would deliver  even better outcomes for the capital’s patients – a strategy for which Londonwide LMCs has a clear vision to share.’

Viewpoint: The King's Fund on how general practice should change

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