Written evidence submitted by Mrs Amita Shah (FGP0081)

 

The main barriers to accessing general practice and how they can be addressed

                     To what extent does the Government’s access plan address barriers in general practice

                     Consequences of patients not able to see a GP how they wish

                     The role of seeing named GP to continuity of care

                     Key challenges general practice will face in the next five years

                     How regional variation in England will shape those challenges

                     The role of general practice in the prevention agenda

                     How to reduce bureaucracy and burnout and improve morale

                     Making general practice more sustainable in the long term

                     The sustainability of the traditional partnership model given the workforce crisis, prioritisation of integrated care, and the move towards salaried GP posts

                     Whether or not current GP contracting and payment structures support ‘proactive, personalised, coordinated and integrated’ care

                     Whether or not PCNs have improved this kind of care and reduced the admin burden on GPs

                     If general practice can work in effective partnerships with other job roles in primary care and beyond to free up more GP time for patients, and to what extent

 

Enabling Digital access is welcomed but we must be mindful that “one size does not fit all”.  There needs to be flexibility of approach to suit all demographics within the practices/primary care networks.  Perhaps working closely we can develop ways in which some practices offer only digital access (for those who prefer this) and others focus on f2f and ensure staff are skilled appropriately.

People like to have named GP perhaps this can be extended to include a senior GPN who knows the patient well and manages their long term condition so can be the named clinician.  GP to means primary care team not just the Doctor.

The key challenges are estates – many are not fit for purpose, workforce – not enough of them and not skilled up enough, need to ensure a good skill mix with less duplication and more clinical and non clinical staff able to deliver at the highest calibre.  Third challenge is digitalisation.  We need to use systems, data sharing and digital solutions to enhance our practice not see the digital agenda as competition.  Education of the practice population in these changes using the PPG is key to getting engagement.

Regional variation not withstanding we need to address local health inequalities by collaborating widely with other partners – almost like the “village practice”.  What we used to call the GP Home – similar ideas.  Think population, Keep local.

General Practice is the cornerstone of prevention and health promotion.  Lets widen our scope and link up with local schools to raise awareness of obesity, substance misuse.  Generally improve health literacy of the school age children so life long habits are formed in the early years.  Also children can be a vehicle to access “hard to reach” groups because of language barriers.

Need to give GP practices some “head space” to reflect and learn.  Resilience Based clinical supervision, restorative supervision and general well being of staff should be part of the daily agenda – a daily “huddle” to “check in” on all staff.  Weekly catch ups to check if again.

Making general practice sustainable means ensuring the flow of resources is directed where the need is the greatest.  Traditional partnership models may not be fit for purpose, but we need primary care staff to be “invested in the local health population.  What is the incentive? PCNs can be a vehicle to drive the integrated agenda but need to reduce bureaucracy.  Need to harness the skills of the multi disciplinary team and share this in the network – reduce duplication and increase job satisfaction.

It is imperative that General Practice works collaboratively with other partners in primary care – community teams, schools teams, housing teams, social care teams.

 

Dec 2021