NHS England invites local communities to help shape the future of general practice

NHS England is engaging with local communities, clinicians and stakeholders, about the best possible way to develop general practice for the future. NHS England wants general practice to play an even stronger role at the heart of more integrated out of hospital services that deliver better health outcomes, more personalised care, excellent patient experience and the most efficient possible use of NHS resources.

General practice and wider primary care services are facing increasing pressures, linked to an ageing population, increasing numbers of people with multiple long term conditions, declining patient satisfaction with access to services, and problems with recruitment and retention in some areas. General practice and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are increasingly looking at how they can transform the way they provide services so that they can better meet these challenges.

As part of NHS England’s 10 year strategy to transform the NHS, it is reviewing the current primary care system and engaging with key partners, including frontline clinicians, to develop a long term, effective solution. This approach forms part of the wider ‘The NHS belongs to the people: a call to action’ that NHS England launched on 11 July 2013.

The main purpose is to stimulate debate in local communities, among GP practices, CCGs, area teams, health and wellbeing boards and other community partners, on the best way to develop general practice services.  NHS England is also inviting comments about how it can best support local changes, for example through the way national contractual frameworks are developed.

There is widespread agreement that, in supporting reform of primary care services, NHS England must take great care to build on the many strengths of existing general practice such as its system of registered patient lists, its generalist skills and its central role in the management of long term conditions. NHS England is also developing its strategic approach to commissioning primary dental, pharmacy and eye care services and will carry out separate engagement exercises at a later stage.

Find out how you can take part in ‘Improving general practice – a call to action’.


  1. Marilyn Gilbert says:

    People need to start taking some responsibility for their own health. Many are trying but unfortunately I see many clients who believe they eat well when in fact their diets are poor; this is as a result of media hype advocating ‘foods’ such as Flora for a healthy heart and ‘high cholesterol needs to be brought down’. We must not overlook the fact that greed for money plays a large part here and the scientific evidence is also poor. Preventing and finding the cause of chronic disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms as is the case with allopathic medicine, is part of a Nutritional Therapist’s role. 20 Nutritional Therapists have recently been employed by Nuffield hospitals to help people improve their health and eliminate chronic disease. We work with GPs as Nutritional Therapy is a complementary, holistic therapy and is concerned with how the body functions at the cellular level – even small imbalances can cause symptoms and affect how the organs and systems of the body work; these in turn can affect other organs, systems and pathways, such is the way we are all wired together! An example here would be acne which would be dealt with by a Nutritional Therapist by addressing blood sugar balance, the endocrine system, the adrenal glands and the liver – a far cry from simply addressing the skin itself. I am happy to give presentations to patients in GP practices on many issues to educate people how to take responsibility for their own health and therefore lessen the burden on the NHS.

  2. Mrs. J.P. Strother says:

    As well as all the fine people working in our N.H.S., individual doctors, practice managers, staff etc., all differ from excellent, to reasonable, mediocre, not very good and some who should not be in the job. The bad ones highlight the good ones.

    I have had experiences (as I am sure many others have) of all of these. With doctors, in particular, their power over patients can lead to abuse of patients. At the least, it is always the patient who suffers and, even if they are very ill, has to run around sorting out another doctor for themselves

    For some reason, patients can make a complaint against a cleaner, a receptionist, a nurse, but never a doctor. Often, a doctor, no matter how guilty he/she is of being rude or nasty, ignores and simply refuse a request for an apology of some kind. If the patient presses for a result of some kind, they are then taken off their doctors list. This is happening more and more all over the country.

    I believe that something should be put in place whereby if a patient makes a complaint against a doctor, g.p, practices are not allowed to take a patients name off their list until a proper outside investigation has taken place.

  3. emma friedmann says:

    My concern is that medical health professionals including doctors are not reading the NICE guidelines.

    Sodium Valproate a widely used AntiConvulsant and Mental health medication causes birth defects in 40% of babies exposed in the womb.

    My Son has Fetal Anti Convulsant Syndrome (FACS) and is disabled for life.

    Doctors are still prescribing to women of childbearing potential despite NICE Guidelines [2012], BNF and patient information leaflets being updated.

    The MHRA has refused to issue warnings.

    BMA say they can’t do anything to inform their members or demand better protection from regulators.

    Doctors can now be Sued for Clinical Negligence and Wrongful Birth.

    It is not in the best interest of the health of the nation, taxpayers and the NHS for this system of poor regulation and poor education to continue.

    Doctors used to be respected for their knowledge, now patients would be well advised to do their own research on medications and treatments prescribed.

    This is undermining the professionalism of a group of people that were once among the most well respected in our society.

    Health Minister Norman Lamb MP will be addressing some of these points at a meeting in parliament on 3rd September. I have been invited along with other campaign and support groups.

  4. Michael Vidal says:

    This idea seems very much like the Healthcare for London proposals which were abandoned in 2010 when the present government came in and said there would be no more top down reorganisation of health services. The issues of which services can be provided in the community and which need to be provided in a hospital area mix of political and health. If you move to many services into the community then the financial viability of local hospitals will be undermined and local politicians and MPs would oppose them.

    A case can be made for most outpatients clinics to be provided in the community and this was the aim of Healthcare for London. The question is the cost of providing the infrastructural support and the number and location of the centres that would provide them.

  5. S Ainsworth says:

    On the whole the public neither knows nor cares how GPs etc are paid or the terms of their contract with the NHS. Primary care can be delivered in all sorts of ways, none of which matters so long as the service functions at the point of delivery. Having spent 40 years dealing with GPs however my advice to anyone is ‘Beware’. Collectively GPs have a very strong ‘trades union mentality’ – the consequence is that they will ALWAYS seek to reduce their workload and increase their incomes, whilst presenting their proposals as being ‘good for patients’. They are far, far better game players than most NHS managers, not least since taken individually most GPs are very nice people.