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#primarycare month is an NHS England (London) campaign to promote and publicise the many exceptional things going on in primary care across the capital.
Primary care is an absolute priority for the NHS, and especially for London. Working with the Healthy London Partnership, strategic clinical networks and other key groups throughout March, we aim to shed some light on the people and services that make up primary care in a modern NHS. This includes visiting GP practices, meeting with MPs to discuss local issues and highlighting areas of transformation that will improve the standard of care Londoners receive. Here, NHS England’s Regional Director for London explains why the campaign is so important:
When people are unwell or have a health concern, they will often turn initially to their GP, practice nurse, dentist or local pharmacist for help.
Whether the result is allayed fears, treatment, further tests or health advice, this is a crucial moment in any patient’s relationship with the NHS.
All these health professionals work within primary care, and across the capital there are many dedicated hard working people who, every day, are making a huge difference to Londoners.
We want to shine a light on some of the high quality, innovative work they are doing, share some of our plans to transform primary care and show some of the ways we are working towards improving the standard of care that Londoners receive, through the Healthy London Partnership.
So, over the next four weeks, we will be sharing examples of excellent primary care which are already happening within London as well as our future plans.
We know that in the capital there are significant challenges for primary care, and this month also provides us with the platform to talk about these and how we are working to overcome them. We also want to hear directly from primary care professionals and patients about their experiences.
London is a global city – something which presents opportunities and challenges in equal measure. We have a large, mobile population and we have 1,501 GP practices and 8,086 GPs.
We know that we face GP workforce issues in London – the findings of a recent survey warning that many in the capital are planning to shut because of shortages of doctors, bureaucracy and workload. This is concerning for us but we also want to reassure GPs that we are putting plans in place to address this.
Nationally, work is ongoing to have 5,000 additional GPs and 5,000 other primary care staff by 2020. The GP 10-point workforce plan is intended to kick start initiatives and funding to improve recruitment and retention within the GP workforce.
We have embarked on an ambitious strategy to transform primary care over the next three years as London has seen an increase in funding for primary care services. London has also been allocated £1.52million of national funds to support the development of vulnerable GP practices.
It’s important to note that primary care does not just cover GPs – dentists, pharmacists and certain types of specialist nurses all make up primary care. In the coming month, we’re going to be concentrating on a different theme each week, ranging from GPs to pharmacies to practice managers.
We’re also going to look at how the NHS is bringing primary care into the new digital age. Booking appointments, accessing records and sourcing treatment more conveniently can all be greatly improved by advances in technology. We will be sharing where this is happening best in London.
From today and throughout March, we’ll be using our web pages and our social media channels, including twitter, to promote our activity – we’ll be sharing blogs and videos from people across the NHS so please do keep an eye out and get involved!
If you want to share a story that you have about primary care in London, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.