Don't give up: fight the good fight for patients
With the updated NHS Plan containing two paragraphs that reinstate practice budgets in the form of practice-led commissioning, a real opportunity opens up now for general practice.
Do not forget some of the proven advantages of practice budgets: shorter waiting lists, fewer referrals, shorter bed stays, prescribing savings, more local services, higher practice morale, and ability to succeed quicker than in larger units.
The National Association of Primary Care and its predecessor organisations have fought a long, hard and lonely battle to get the benefits of practice budgets recognised. Frankly we could never understand the opposition to it from the GPC and NHS Alliance. We hope this time round they will react differently.
The NAPC will continue to use its considerable influence to see that GPs are empowered with budgets. No one has the knowledge and experience of the NAPC in dealing with practice budgets.
So many GPs have said to me that they have felt almost a sense of bereavement in losing their budgets and that nothing since has come anywhere near comparing with it.
Your time has come again. We wish you luck and promise you support.
Dr Rhidian Morris, President
National Association of Primary Care