Gerada has challenged the profession and urged it to adapt a new way of working. Since 1948, the way that hospitals and general practices are organised has not changed, and the existing independent contractor is no longer fit for purpose.
The RCGP suggests that the health-care system should proactively remould itself, with primary, secondary and community care integrated into single local organisations – with all staff employed by the NHS.
Generalism must be protected but there should be a move closer to hospital and community colleagues, with one organisation and one united service.
In 2008, Ara Darzi, former Health Care Minister, suggested that the historical separation between primary and secondary care should be broken down.
Gerada called for the model proposed by Darzi and stated, “The bottom line is: invest in primary and community care and we’ll get a health service that we value, and patients will do well.”
GPs will be encouraged to lead multidisciplinary teams that incorporate acute, mental health, community health and social care services in the community.
It is expected that there will be resistance from some GPs to these proposals, which run counter to Government health policy but are similar to the Labour Party’s stated policy.