In Next steps for integrating primary care: Fuller Stocktake report, NHS England highlights the crucial role that primary care has played at the heart of communities for generations.
Dr Claire Fuller, the CEO designate Surrey Heartlands ICS and GP, who led the stocktake, said: “Primary care must be at the heart of each of our new [ICSs].”
The review raises concerns about General Practice capacity.
To address these issues, the report sets out a vision for integrating primary care:
- Streamlining access to care and advice when people need it
- Providing more proactive, personalised care with support from a multidisciplinary team of professionals
- Helping people to stay well for longer.
Louise Ansari, national director at Healthwatch England, which called for a national review of GP access welcomed the report:
“Having called for a review of GP services, we are pleased to see the Fuller report address some of the key long-standing issues that hundreds of thousands of people shared with us over the last two years.
Access to GP services remains one of the top priorities for the public, especially for people who face barriers to care such as disabled people, people from ethnic minority backgrounds and those on lower incomes, and we particularly welcome the focus on personalised care.
By recognising that people need better access to same-day urgent care, while also sometimes prioritising greater continuity of care, the NHS can improve and strengthen its relationship with the public.
In looking to develop neighbourhood care teams, there will be opportunities for the NHS to improve collaboration across services, and better engage with service users, carers and the voluntary sector.
Through improving data collection and sharing systems, we hope to see the development of a primary care system that understands its communities and addresses disparities in access. GP practices are a vital first port of call for people who need care and so it is important that access to General Practice works for everyone, regardless of where people live, their abilities, or their ethnicity. We look forward to supporting a swift and effective implementation of approaches outlined in the report.”