This Strategic Commissioning Framework for Primary Care Transformation in London represents a platform where clinicians, commissioners, and other stakeholders can build on the work done to date and find solutions to the challenges for general practice; supporting the healthcare community to make care better for all Londoners.
The NHS is unique because of its system of general practice – a medical home for the patient – underpinned by a life-long medical record. General practice is the first point of access for many people, where a high proportion of care is delivered close to people’s homes with the potential for a continuous relationship with the same clinical team from birth through to the end of life.
General practice has served patients, the public and the NHS well for over 60 years. It has delivered accessible, high quality, value for money care. However our patients are changing, both in the complexity of their conditions and in their expectations. This means that if the NHS is going to continue to provide the excellent standard of care to which we all aspire, we will have to be more innovative.
Tweaking at the edges is not an option. London needs solutions that will sustain primary care for the next 60 years. We must maintain the integrity and core purpose of general practice (to provide holistic, patient-centred continuous care to patients and their families). But at the same time we must address the need to improve coordination of care, access to services and take a more proactive approach to our patients’ health and wellbeing.
Building on the scale of support we have seen for this work, and the additional focus on primary care provided by the NHS Five Year Forward View and Better Health for London from the London Health Commission, now is the time to make these changes together.