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RCGP launches inquiry into how GP role should change

The RCGP has launched an inquiry into how the role of GPs has to change in the face of funding challenges and an ageing population.

The ‘‘Inquiry into Patient-Centred Care in the Twenty-First Century’ will be led by Mike Farrar, the former NHS Confederation chief executive and former head of primary care at the Department of Health, looking at how best to deploy funding so that older people with many long-term conditions can get better healthcare and how the GP role can alter to support this, including how GP financial incentives should change.

The inquiry, which is intended to report initial findings in September, is calling for written evidence from interested organisations and individuals to be submitted by 16 July and will also hold three seminars in July and August where health expets will be quizzed for their ideas.

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said the inquiry would inform the college’s campaign for GP funding to take 11% of the overall NHS budget by 2017.

Dr Baker said: ‘The inquiry provides us with an fantastic opportunity to look at the efficacy of general practice at a time of increasing demand and constrained resources, and to make recommendations about what needs to change for us to continue to deliver high standards of patient care.’

Mr Farrar said he hoped the inquiry would produce ‘ground-breaking findings’ to change the NHS for the future.

He added: ‘General practice is key to a fully-functioning, cost-effective NHS and it is important that we look into and promote ways that it can be sustainable in the future whilst working in the best interests of the patients and population it serves.’