Speaking on the future of the health service at the Westminster Health Forum in London on Wednesday, NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said general practice must develop more skills ‘organically' to keep people out of hospital.
He gave examples from his own practice where receptionists have learned to take blood and social workers work alongside GPs.
He called for the government to recognise how good primary care can restrict the use and costs of secondary care.
‘The future is GPs doing a bit more, working with each other and bringing in specialists; becoming a community interest company,' he said.
'Primary care has the opportunity to restrict the use of secondary care and stop the public using the system in the first place,' he said.
The personal relationship between GPs and patients must not be lost, and continuity of care would make a useful performance indicator for GPs, suggested Dr Dixon.
- Read an analysis piece from this event in next week's GP dated 18 September