RCGP sets out 10-year plan to improve general practice

General practice has a key role to play in transforming the NHS over the next decade but will struggle to cope without investment in more GPs, longer training and support for existing staff, a landmark RCGP consultation warns.

Dr Clare Gerada: stakes are high
Dr Clare Gerada: stakes are high

The RCGP today launched its biggest ever consultation, General practice 2022 - a call to action, which calls for an increase in the number of GPs, increasing support and resources to maintain the current workforce and to extend GP training to four years.

As part of the consultation, the college has compiled a compendium of evidence demonstrating how it thinks general practice can and should be the driving force for transforming the health service over the next decade.

It says that general practice is vital to providing integrated care and that it is ‘cost effective’ in bringing care closer to home. To achieve this, it says more GPs are needed who have been trained for longer and who can spend more time with their patients. The college also calls for its proposals to extend GP training to four years to be funded.

RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada said: ‘We have a historic opportunity to harness the power of general practice to transform the NHS and improve the services and care we can deliver for our patients over the next decade. By equipping the profession to grow and develop, we can meet the challenges of the future.

‘The RCGP is putting in place a programme of activity to help deliver these priorities, but to be successful, we will need to be supported and championed by a number of people and organisations working together with shared goals.

‘We are keen to receive views from as many people as possible, from GPs working across the UK and other health professionals to politicians in all four governments; from managers in the NHS, to those working in the voluntary and social care sector; and from patients and the wider public.

‘We must look ahead to enable us to deliver the care and services that our patients will need and expect over the next few years. The stakes are too high not to get this right.’

To take part in the consultation complete the RCGP’s online questionnaire or email your views to policy@rcgp.org.uk by 8 October 2012.

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