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Background

There is a widespread acceptance that the NHS needs to adapt to a changing healthcare climate.

With an aging population, increasing demand on services, and the need to make savings, new models-of-care are needed. It is widely recognised that General Practice in England is heading for a potential crisis, with many GPs planning on retiring in the next few years, citing extremely high workload as the main reason.

At the other end of the career spectrum, doctors in training are avoiding General Practice careers, and for the first time in many years, there are frequently places on General Practice training schemes left vacant. Morale is at it’s lowest in decades, and younger doctors are avoiding what is often perceived as being an unsustainable profession. Already practices are struggling to recruit new GPs resulting in, amongst other effects, patients having to wait longer for appointments. 

The General Practice Forward View was published in April 2016, outlining suggested strategies and resource allocation designed to achieve a sustainable model of General Practice. 

Many of the proposals rely on larger patient groups than currently served by individual GP practices. It is proposed that new services be designed around groups of approximately 30,000 patients, with a new approach being utilised to transform the way care is offered. These proposals include the development of enhanced multi-disciplinary teams, with a range of professionals working together to ensure improved, efficient patient-care. This will ensure limited resources are utilised correctly and appropriately, with doctors focussing on patient care, rather than spending a lot of time on paperwork or dealing with problems best addressed in the first-instance by other professionals.