Patient advocate predicts end to GP 'small business'

The 'small business model' of general practice should be ditched to help primary care focus on wider public health benefits, a patient involvement expert says.

Dr Brian Fisher, NHS Alliance patient and public involvement lead, said the small business model of general practice was 'on its way out'. He predicted that in future, groups of practices would be responsible for broad populations, including unregistered people, rather than just their own patient lists.

'We have to be more responsive, we have to think outside of our surgeries. We have to find people who are not actually registered with a GP,' he said.

Dr Fisher said practices will be 'bigger, with more nurses and healthcare assistants', grouped together to form federations or 'polysystems' of salaried GPs.

He claimed that practices operating alone were an 'inefficient and unresponsive way to run primary care'.

Dr Fisher's comments come amid a DoH drive for continuous improvements in the 'accessibility and responsiveness' of GP services.

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