Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chapter 7 - The Future of NHS

This is a summary of chapter 7, written by Dr Mayur Lakani, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Visiting Professor in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester School of Medicine.

In this chapter he discusses primary care, and mainly concentrates on the role of GPs. He explains how primary care is expanding and is imperative to the running of the NHS. He tackles some common concerns, such as the inability to book GP appointments in advance, not being able to access GPs out of hours, and the new GP contract.

He also explains the significance of the Government White Paper on 'Care in the Community', which is aimed at reshaping the NHS, by transferring services from hospitals, into the community. He sums up by considering some suggestions for the future development of primary care:
· Longer and flexible consultation times with patients (say 15 minutes)
· Focusing more on prevention and well being, including mental health
· Focusing on earlier diagnosis
· Making patients the key holders for deciding on their treatment
· Integrating primary health care teams
· Improving communication between hospitals and GP practices
· Providing more tests and procedures, and services in primary care
· Improving primary care access, particularly for urgent problems
· Developing stronger GP services in deprived areas
· Increase the sexual health services in primary care settings
· Offer patients a choice of seeing a named GP and the choice to register with their preferred practice.
· Let the GP be the navigator rather than the gatekeeper
· Improve management of co-morbidity which is found more in deprived communities.

To offer comments on his chapter please feel free to comment on this blog, or add to the forum debate on

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