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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Professor Chris Salisbury

Professor Salisbury is professor of primary care at the University of Bristol and a GP in the city. His research includes major studies on advanced access and the impact of NHS walk-in centres on emergency departments.

Professor Salisbury is professor of primary care at the University of Bristol and a GP in the city. His research includes major studies on advanced access and the impact of NHS walk-in centres on emergency departments.

Which areas of primary care are you currently researching?

I'm trying to study ideas that have arisen from the NHS white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say. We're trying to understand what the big messages are about choice and so on. I'm also doing stuff on co-morbidity and its effect on healthcare.

In your view, what are the biggest challenges facing general practice?

Trying to maintain a focus on personal care with individuals in the face of the fragmentation of primary care into lots of different providers.

What do you make of the plans by the NHS Confederation to charge GPs back for the cost of patients who turn up at A&E?

I don't think it completely adds up, in the sense that there have been studies on why people go to A&E and it isn't generally because people can't get in with their GP. It's generally because they think A&E is the right place to go for their problem.

Do you think patients will soon be able to register at walk-in-centres?

I think what's going to happen is that walk-in centres are going to get merged with GP-led health centres in lots of places, and because of the new APMS practices coming out, we'll end up with GPs who provide care for registered or unregistered patients.

Should GPs take back responsibility for out-of-hours care?

It would be unrealistic to go back to the idea of a 365-day, 24-hour contract. I don't think it will happen whether anyone thinks it's a good idea or not. I don't think there's any chance that GPs would accept that.

If you were health secretary for a day, what would you do?

I would recognise and try to give greater priority to things that make primary healthcare successful, and try to make sure I'm aware of and don't destabilise the things that make it work well, which are the registered patient list and the single point of contact for most healthcare.

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