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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Changes to general practice are having a profound effect

Pulse examines the sweeping changes occurring to general practice and the challenges they bring

Pulse examines the sweeping changes occurring to general practice and the challenges they bring



Change is afoot in the world of general practice.

The profession is becoming more feminine, the careers it offers more flexible and diverse.

GPs are increasingly working part-time, cutting down on their clinical sessions and dreaming of an early retirement.

And although the 2004 contract may have brought fresh opportunities for GPs, it has brought challenges too, with an increase in the magnitude and complexity of workload.

There are fundamental changes to the very fabric of general practice, as new partnerships dry to a trickle and salaried GPs pour into the profession.

Many more practice nurses have been recruited, often doing work that would once have been the domain of a doctor.

Our survey, of 500 GPs, reveals a profession nervous over the consequences of change, and concerned that the core role of the GP generalist may be under threat.

Half of GPs support the expansion in the role of nurses, but only 23% believe they are being sufficiently trained for the role.

And 54% of GPs oppose the drive to introduce specialist skills into general practice by training up GPSIs.

There are concerns, too, over continuity of care.

Most GPs still value continuity, but although 74% of partners believe they can offer it, the same is true of only 48% of salaried doctors.

GPs on a salary know fewer of their patients, and are more likely to work part-time, than partners.

With polyclinics, commercial providers and entrepreneurial partners all looking to create more salaried posts, the implications for patient-centred care could be profound.

State of the profession 54% of GPs oppose the drive to introduce specialist skills into general practice by training up GPSIs. GPSI minor surgery

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