Help us respond to the Health and Social Care Select Committee enquiry into ‘The Future of General Practice’

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We will be responding to this new inquiry as on behalf of London general practice and would welcome your views. We will highlight London GP teams’ commitment to patient access, timely care, and the need for practices and teams to be enabled and resourced to work safely. We would welcome your thoughts on any targeted bureaucratic/ clinical/ system barriers which are complicating or obstructing the delivery of safe and timely GP care which could be raised in our response.

MPs will examine challenges facing general practice in the NHS over the next five years. The new inquiry into the future of general practice will consider access to services and the impact of changes introduced during the pandemic such as online or virtual consultations. Barriers to accessing services and the extent to which the Government and NHS England’s plans will address these issues will also be considered. Regional variation in general practice, the general practice workload, and the partnership model of general practice will also be explored.

Select Committee Chair, and former Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP launched the Inquiry last week, saying: “General Practice is in crisis now with an utterly exhausted and demoralised workforce and patients increasingly uncertain of what they can expect. Yet it remains the beating heart of the NHS and essential to the prevention agenda – so how do we get there? This will be one of our most important inquiries of the coming year.”

The Committee have issued a call for evidence and the terms of reference can be seen below:

Terms of reference:

The Committee invites written submissions addressing any, or all, of the following points:

  • What are the main barriers to accessing general practice and how can these be tackled?
  • To what extent does the Government and NHS England’s plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice address these barriers?
  • What are the impacts when patients are unable to access general practice using their preferred method?
  • What role does having a named GP—and being able to see that GP—play in providing patients with the continuity of care they need?
  • What are the main challenges facing general practice in the next 5 years?
  • How does regional variation shape the challenges facing general practice in different parts of England, including rural areas?
  • What part should general practice play in the prevention agenda?
  • What can be done to reduce bureaucracy and burnout, and improve morale, in general practice? 
  • How can the current model of general practice be improved to make it more sustainable in the long term? In particular:
  • Is the traditional partnership model in general practice sustainable given recruitment challenges, the prioritisation of integrated care and the shift towards salaried GP posts?
  • Do the current contracting and payment systems in general practice encourage proactive, personalised, coordinated and integrated care?
  • Has the development of Primary Care Networks improved the delivery of proactive, personalised, coordinated and integrated care and reduced the administrative burden on GPs?
  • To what extent has general practice been able to work in effective partnerships with other professions within primary care and beyond to free more GP time for patient care?

Written evidence should be submitted here by Tuesday 14 December, with no more than 3,000 words per submission.

Please consider sharing any directly submitted evidence with us to inform the Londonwide LMCs’ response.