Primary care: Today and tomorrow. Improving general practice by working differently – Deloitte – May 2012

Posted on May 14, 2012. Filed under: General Practice, Primary Hlth Care | Tags: |

Primary care: Today and tomorrow. Improving general practice by working differently – Deloitte – May 2012

“Primary care, and in particular care delivered by general practice, has been a cornerstone of the United Kingdom’s healthcare system since the inception of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. Indeed, good quality primary care is considered an essential
feature of all cost-effective healthcare systems. Patient satisfaction with primary care delivered through general practice has traditionally been high, albeit with local variations in both patient experience and quality of care.

The general practice delivery model has evolved slowly with most general practitioners (GPs) working in single or dual practices until the 1990s. The promotion of a ‘primary care led NHS’ during the 1990s and the implementation of new contract models from 2003 onwards, have resulted in the majority of GPs now working in larger group practices and health centres. Nevertheless, the delivery model still  relies largely on face-to-face consultations between the patient and GP or, for a limited but growing number of interventions, between the patient and practice nurse.

The focus of this report is on the general practice as a provider of primary care services, and while it is based on the English NHS, many of the solutions could apply equally to general practice in the rest of the United Kingdom.

In this report we acknowledge general practice and its registered patient list system as a strong foundation upon which different models of care can be built. We propose a range of solutions involving new business models and incentives, and accelerated use of technologies, which shift the focus of primary care from providers to consumers. While some of the proposed solutions are already being trialled by a number of GPs, and the challenge is to increase the scale of adoption, others have yet to be adopted in any meaningful way. What they all have in common is the need for primary care staff to work differently.”

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