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GP 'roadmap' revealed

14th September 2007

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have called for changes to GP services in order to put patients "at the heart of the NHS".

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The changes are part of a publication entitled 'The Future Direction of General Practice: A Roadmap'. The RCGP wants the delivery of certain services - such as X-rays - to be performed at "federated" GP surgeries.

The new care model would mean patients would first be seen locally. Hospitals would take responsibility for major surgery and provide treatment for acute illness.

RCGP Chairman Professor Mayur Lakhani said: "The RCGP roadmap proposes a new dynamic with family doctors at the heart of improvement and marks a comeback for personal, family doctoring."

The roadmap proposes key changes, including sharable electronic records, streamlined appointment systems, patient access designed around "continuity of care" and local treatment.

Professor Lakhani said that the RCGP would be working towards implementing the new proposals so "that the roadmap becomes a reality".

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA, said the BMA was happy to have worked with the RCGP in the development of the roadmap. He said they were "committed" to working with the RCGP to make certain the roadmap aided GPs in the provision of "the best-quality primary care."

Professor Lakhani called the roadmap a "breakthrough" which placed patients' requirements at the centre of the health service. He said "the future is integrated care" and said the new plans would end the "waiting that is endemic in the NHS".

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