Clinical commissioners have stated that primary care should be recognised for it’s potential to reduce the burden on acute hospital settings, and should be seen as part of the solution, not as a problem.
Dr James Kingsland is National Clinical Lead for NHS Clinical Commissioning and Graham Roberts is Chief Executive of Assura Group state their case in an article written for The Guardian. They state that it is key to “refocus on the role that primary care can play in relieving the pressure on secondary care”.
As reduced staffing levels and concerns over weekend working are prolific in hospitals, it is believed that improving GP services is critical, with a shift towards preventative care being key. In addition, the NHS should be looking towards integrated primary, community and social care.
Many blame this "crisis" on poor access to general practice and the consequences of the 2004 GP contract, which saw most GPs opt out of out-of-hours care. There has also been a significant increase in demand for out-of-hours care, and in many cases, GPs do not have the provisions or resources to cater for this.
“Ultimately, in order to increase efficiency in the NHS and meet the public's top priorities of waiting and access, GPs need to be resourced and equipped to do more. They also need to build teams to perform and complete more episodes of care in their primary care setting in modern, purpose-built 21st-century facilities” the article says.
“It is extremely difficult to change the expectations of the general population, but what we can do is ensure that healthcare practitioners are working in the right environment to respond to the demands effectively”.
Original Source The Guardian
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