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Health secretary announces 'one-stop' plan to revolutionise role of GPs

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a new programme aimed at moving more patient services to GP practices from hospital.

Mr Hunt said that under his ‘GP one-stop programme’, the NHS will be going through ‘condition by condition’ to see which can be handled in general practice rather than secondary care going forward.

Mr Hunt said that the NHS has to ’get back to basics and think how many issues and problems could actually be solved with a visit to a general practice’ rather than ‘sending someone to the back of another queue’.

Speaking at the Best Practice conference in Birmingham today, he said: ’I think it is quite sobering to note that the entire outpatient budget for hospitals is around the same as the entire general practice budget.

’[But] I think as far as patients are concerned they would much prefer it if a lot of those problems were sorted out inside general practice.’

Mr Hunt said his plan would include a range of conditions, such as for example diabetes.

He said: ’So you will be hearing more about what I am calling “the GP one-stop programme”, looking at areas like diabetes, end-stage renal, and many others.

’We are going to go through, situation by situation, condition by condition, and ask what barriers we can remove centrally to allow more of this work to happen in general practice.’

He admitted that this meant asking GPs to ‘do more work’ but said that they would be ‘paid for doing that’ and argued that it would also ‘make life more rewarding for doctors’.

And, aside from being more satisfying for GPs, Mr Hunt said the model will allow patients to be seen more quickly.

He said: ’It’s not just that it’s better for patients, because they’ll get the care they need more quickly, but also its part of making the process of making life more rewarding for doctors, because it think the last thing a doctor wants to do is send someone home without having sorted out the problem.’

But he added that the Department of Health was looking at how it would fund this shift in workload.

He said: ‘That means looking at payment systems.

’Because we are asking GPs and practices to do more work, they need to be paid for doing that. It also means removing some of the inflexibilities.’

The news comes as NHS England is in the process of developing a new voluntary GP contract for large-scale multidisciplinary GP practices with 30,000 or more patients, which aims for practices to employ a wider range of healthcare staff.

But it also comes as the GPC has been successful in convincing NHS leaders to amend hospital contracts to stop ‘workload dump’ from secondary care colleagues, amid unprecedented pressure on GP practices.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ’

Many practices and GPs already do this, caring for the vast majority of their diabetic patients. However this shifted work is not matched and supported by shifted resources and moving funding to make such services sustainable is what is really needed.’

Readers' comments (57)

  • Shurly eds the headline should Jeremy announces one stop plan to expend with GP's services?

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  • Can something be done about all the 'works for an unspecified employer but very keen to post on here none the less' folk posting their half informed gems of wisdom. It's weary making

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  • You are all pathetic spineless moaners. I managed to perform 2x CABGs whilst dpoing telephone triage and have 3 people in my car boot being dialysed whilst I visit a nursing home for their daily ward round.

    Please can I have a gong Jezza?

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  • Classic Dunning Kruger effect. Too inexperienced to recognise one’s own inexeperience. Even after several years in the job :-((–Kruger_effect

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  • I managed to grow some CABbaGes in our practice allotment. We could use the IVy to give antibiotics and thrombolytics and my CARDIgan is very useful for helping broken hearts.
    I could go on like this for hours, but I have some real GP work to do

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  • Jo, I am sure "working for a pharmaceutical company " gives you a clear insight into General Practice but I can assure you in my neck of the woods if you suggested to the GPs here that they are going through the hard labour of merging and federation just for "ideological " reasons,they would probably ask you to "step outside " for a short "UKIP"-style "discussion".
    They are doing it firstly out of a sheer instinct for survival from a model that is clearly not sustainable, principally in recruiting terms,and secondly because they believe collaborative working will benefit patients.
    Neither you nor I will know whether they are right for several years but in the meantime let us salute their carpe diem courage.

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  • I'm not against the idea in principle. However, there are many practical problems which JH seems to ignore.

    1. There are not enough GPs to service the current demand, nevermind expanding service.
    2. Who will be responsible for employing the work force. I, as a partner, is personally responsible for the finance including paying for redundancy. NHSE seems to change their target at a whim and there is no way I'm talking risk of employing workforce with salaries in triple figures.
    3. There is no way a generalist can do 4 day clinical work and keep up to date on par with the specialists in all of the clinical specialties.
    4. Smaller surgeries with personal care often gets the best patient satisfaction rates, referral rates and AED attendance rates. This suggests patient care isn't about one stop shop or number of specialties offered at one practice.
    5. I assume he is expecting any practice with smaller list size (say below 30k) to close our merge? Who will be managing this, including the existing premises owned by the GPs?
    6. He does realize in NHS, bigger = less efficiency? Not only will be have to give up on nhs efficiency savings, he'd have to look for extra resources to service the fall in efficiency with this model.

    Perhaps Mr €ant might want to stop thinking about how he could trick the general public for more votes with ear pressing sound bites such as this and start acting as a responsible officer of health for the country and consider realistic solution?

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  • Get behind Mr Hunt you GP shirkers.

    Haven't you heard that there has 'never been a better time to be a GP' and 'we are ideally placed' to manage*:
    End stage renal failure
    Complex type 1 diabetes
    Boiler checks for the eldery
    Free Shotgun licence monitoring
    Gambling addiction
    Free nursing home daily ward rounds
    Verifying death in the dead
    Community hospital management
    A&E backfll
    OOH work
    Extended hours
    Saturday and Sunday urgent wart freezing clinics

    *courtesy of the fantasy of various RCGP chairs, , or with the tacit backing or failure to prevent by workload dumping by BMA GPC.

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner21 Oct 2016 3:57pm

    'I'm not against the idea in principle. '

    this is part of the problem - if you give an inch they will take a mile. and if just one GP somewhere accepts it they will take that as an endorsement and roll it out. the root cause of the problem is an open ended contract. either accept that the state can do what they want when they want or leave.

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  • Indemnity is going to be even more eyewatering

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