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'It's time to reassert role of general practice'

Sir John Oldham has called on NHS managers to place greater emphasis on GPs and practices and end their belief that 'PCTs are primary care'.

In a speech to a joint NHS Confederation and RCGP conference on the future of general practice, Sir John, a key GP adviser to the Government, said it was time to reassert the role practices play. 'It is time to rebalance the

focus given to the other players in primary care,' he said.

'Now is the time to recognise practices and primary care teams are the powerhouse that drives service delivery, and we need to develop them as

organisations.'

Sir John, head of the National Primary Care Development Team and a GP in Glossop, Derbyshire, also rebuffed talk of replacing general practice with a specialist-led primary care service. Patient choice tsar Harry Cayton has said a move to such a system is an option under consideration for the future.

'Older people with multiple chronic pathology don't want to go to one place for a package of care for their blood pressure, another for diabetes and a third for their heart failure,' he said.

'They want the competence and breadth of skills in a place they know with people they know.'

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