Viewpoint: Free-thinking GPs must take the lead on new models of care

I'm getting fed up with being the prophet of doom for general practice, the NHS... etc etc.

My sandwich board emblazoned with 'the end of general practice is nigh' is now well worn and, to be honest, it sits uncomfortably with my natural instinct to embrace change with open arms, give her a snog and move in after the first date.

But why don't we look for the bright future of primary care? Simon Stevens of NHS England recently told us: 'Our future lies in networks and health systems; not individual go-it-alone institutions. On too many... issues it has felt the opposite of that. That’s going to change.'

Accountable care organisations

So look North to the arrival of a new messiah, the Northumberland accountable care organisation. Don't fret about loss of independence, bask in the glow of somebody else carrying the can, work your shift, collect your salary and recognise that an end-to-end NHS is the Apple of our times - seamless service, quality-driven and cost-bound.*

There's one good reason we can't coast to retirement (thanks Jeremy). Any system-level change will require different actions, different thinking, independent thought, and the only place you can see that is in an independent general practice.

So the pressure is on us to reform the system while we still can, before we lose the ability to think for ourselves.

*Please note this article may appear different to those wearing rose-tinted spectacles.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners.

Photo: UNP

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