Incoming Labour government to ‘reform primary care appointments’

5th July 2024 by NASGP

Incoming Labour government to ‘reform primary care appointments’

The incoming Labour government committed to reform access to GP appointments, according to its manifesto.

“Excellent primary care is the key to earlier diagnosis, but too often it is not possible to get an appointment, so Labour will reform the system,” authors wrote.

Other manifesto commitments include:

  • Training ‘thousands’ more GPs.
  • Setting up a ‘guarantee’ for face to face appointments.
  • Incentivising a named-GP-style scheme to ‘bring back the family doctor’.
  • Launching a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service to reduce pressure on GPs.

Before the elections, Labour politicians promised to cut GP bureaucracy and review the ARRS scheme, Pulse reported. One proposal for primary care reform cited before the election was a pilot for ‘neighbourhood health centres’.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “As even our patients are telling us, something needs to change. Extra funding for the NHS is an unlikely option – at least, not early on in this new Labour government; the economy is still on its knees, and every other government sector is also vying for priority funding.

“For general practice, both in the short- and long-term, a simple unblocker will be the relaxation of the rules around the £1.4 billion ARRS funding. Rather than ring fenced for employing non-GP clinical roles, it should be unlocked to enable local practices to hire the role that’s right for them.

“And with so many unemployed GPs looking for work, we need an informed discussion about utilising the existing GP workforce intelligently, rather than the vote-winning and grandiose solution of simply to train  more GPs. We need to make far better use of the GPs we already have.”

"I have been a member of the NASGP for the past nine years and have found the advice and support offered invaluable. NASGP passionately champions for safe and fair working conditions for locums, which is crucial in an age of increasing medical litigation.

LocumDeck is a must for every locum who just wants to get on with the job that they were trained to do."

Dr Fiona Munro, GP

Dr Fiona Munro, GP

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